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

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences.

Such is the power of the economic orthodoxy that when opposition parties arise – say, in the shape of the Greens – their “credibility” is measured by the extent to which they give the appearance of learning and abiding by the ruling consensus.

The tension between the desire for change – and the inability of the current political framework to deliver it – creates openings for populists of all stripes. It is what has made the emergence of Internet Mana so interesting. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Electorate Deals

For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Oil Drilling Face-Off With Labour

The key policy points in the Green Party’s plan to protect our beaches from oil spills are to:
1. Prohibit deep sea oil drilling; 2. Implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping; 3. Build Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response capability; and 4. Introduce a stronger legal framework so that when accidents do happen, the New Zealand taxpayer does not have to pay for the clean-up. More>>

ALSO:


Nick Smith v Fish & Game:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news