MOSCOW: New Zealand's parliament on Tuesday passed a bill authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes for chronically and terminally ill people, local media reported.
The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that the bill, which gives terminally ill people legal defense for using cannabis products, passed its third reading with the support of all coalition partners except the National Party of New Zealand, which slammed the initiative to decriminalize cannabis.
According to the previous version of the bill, the medical use of marijuana could be authorized only for people with a year or less left to live.
During the bill's second reading on November 29, New Zealand Health Minister David Clark made several adjustments, expanding the legal defence to all people needing palliative relief, the newspaper noted.
According to the newspaper, cannabis-based drugs will be available by prescription, and the law will come into force as soon as it receives royal assent.