Doctors speak out against NZ Medical Association’s stance on cannabis referendum

One doctor has quit her membership and others are speaking out because of the New Zealand Medical Association’s stance on the cannabis referendum.

The NZMA opposes legalisation of cannabis in this month’s referendum because of the harm it can cause individuals and the community.

It said it strongly believes that cannabis use is a significant health and social issue.

NZMA chair Kate Baddock said cannabis can cause psychological harm to its users, particularly younger people.

Opponents to legalisation, led by the likes of Family First, have been quick to seize on the NZMA’s stance.

Family First has pitted the debate as one between the Green Party and the Drug Foundation, against medical professionals.

But a number of doctors have come forward to RNZ to say that simply is not the case.

In fact, one doctor, Dr Nina Sawicki, said she has quit the association because of its stance.

“I decided to leave because I felt that their stance on the cannabis referendum, while it wasn’t incorrect, I felt it was incomplete,” Sawicki said.

“I didn’t feel that it addressed the wider spectrum of harm that comes from the current use of cannabis. I felt they took a very narrow medical focus on the harm of cannabis.”

She said the NZMA is not representative of the entire medical workforce in this country, and that many doctors have opposing views. [Read more @ NZ Herald]

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