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Dunne Says Honesty Needed on Medicinal Cannabis Debate

Dunne Says Honesty Needed on Medicinal Cannabis Debate


Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has criticised ‘misleading and emotive’ statements on medicinal cannabis from pro-cannabis groups.

“These groups claim the government is blocking research and development of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals. That is not only absolutely wrong, but also shows a woeful ignorance of the process for approving any new medicinal products” says Mr Dunne.

“If cannabis is sought for its medicinal benefits, then it must be subject to the same rigour and testing that we expect of all pharmaceutical products. The fact is the government does not oppose the trial and development of cannabis-based medicines, as the availability of Sativex on the New Zealand market already shows.

“I am also aware that the Ministry of Health has proactively contacted GW Pharmaceuticals regarding the availability of Epidiolex, which is being trialled for sufferers of Dravet Syndrome”, Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says that while any such development must be undertaken within the tight rules and regulations that govern the pharmaceutical market in New Zealand, the bottom line is that it is not the government’s place to develop, trial and bring medicines to market – that responsibility sits squarely with the pharmaceutical industry.

He says consumers need to be directing their questions to the pharmaceutical industry, not the government, as to why the products they are seeking are unavailable in New Zealand.

Ends

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Gordon Campbell:
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For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

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As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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