Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Medical cannabis report disappointing

Medical cannabis report disappointing

A report on medical cannabis published yesterday by the Health Select Committee is a disappointing once-over glance at a medicine that is of increasing importance globally, the New Zealand Drug Foundation said.

The Health Select Committee Report was in response to the petition of William Joseph Rea and recommends that there be no change in the current approach to medical cannabis.

“This report offers little relief to the many people who would benefit from a robust medical cannabis regime in New Zealand,” New Zealand Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell said.

“Advice from the Ministry of Health to the Select Committee failed to canvas the latest knowledge and cited a widely debunked paper about the negative health risks of cannabis.

“The report also failed to recognise that any health risks from smoking raw cannabis can be mitigated through edible or vaporised alternatives.”

Mr Bell said that there is growing evidence to support the use of cannabis for a range of medical conditions.

“The drug has proven beneficial effects for relieving chronic pain, reducing nausea, improving appetite, improving the quality of life of people undergoing chemotherapy, and relieving muscle spasms.

“Cannabis is of particular interest for people with Dravet Syndrome, a genetic condition that begins at infancy and causes multiple severe seizures.

“There is the potential to grant many people a lot of relief if we were to adopt a robust and well regulated medical cannabis regime.

Mr Bell said that technically cannabis is already a legal medicine.

“Medical cannabis is, on paper, a legal medicine and we also allow the use of Sativex, a pharmaceutical cannabis product.

“However, no one has approval to use raw cannabis, and only 10 people have approval to use Sativex. The application process is a never-ending labyrinth of confusing paperwork, and Pharmac does not subsidise the pharmaceutical.”

Mr Bell said there are many countries that allow the medical use of cannabis.

“Canada and the Netherlands provide robust models for how we could regulate medical cannabis and make it easier for people to access medication,” Mr Bell said.

“These models address the issues raised in the select committee report about quality, testing, and dosage. Bedrocan, a type of medical cannabis, shows that these concerns are easily mitigated.”

Mr Bell said that the New Zealand Drug Foundation was currently drafting an application to Pharmac to subsidise Sativex.

“People with existing approval to use Sativex should be able to access the medicine with a subsidy from Pharmac and the future process for applying to use Sativex should be simplified.

“The Drug Foundation repeats its call for a compassionate approach to those using raw cannabis for medicinal reasons until a robust system can be put in place.”

The Health Select Committee report on Petition 2011/41 of William Joseph Rea can be accessed at http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/documents/reports/50DBSCH_SCR6200_1/petition-201141-of-william-joseph-rea

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news