Leaders' debate: English and Ardern face off on legalising medicinal cannabis
#LeadersDebate Cannabis - Jacinda gives a definite answer, Bill stumbles around— Liz (@Eliza_Elinor) August 31, 2017
One of the more polarising questions in the TVNZ leaders' debate came not from moderator Mike Hosking, but a viewer.
Cancer patient Liz Morris asked both leaders whether they would look at legalising cannabis for medicinal use.
Hosking gave Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National leader Bill English both 30 seconds to answer the Auckland woman's question.
Dear Bill medicinal cannabis has already been clinically tested by many countries— Ali C (@AliCopeman) August 31, 2017
But that was 27 seconds too long for Ardern: "I don't need 30 seconds, Mike. The answer is absolutely, yes."
English's answer was measured, but in the end he got there too.
National would be happy with further liberalisation and access to medicinal cannabis, but it would not compromise clinical safety standards, he said.
"To make cannabinoid products more widely available, they still need to go through a proper clinical process, so we can guarantee the safety of the product for people.
"We think that the drug should have to meet the same tests as any other drug or you're putting patients at risk."