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

South Island Flooding: Focus Moves To Recovery

As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding.

“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups have acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way,” says Mr Guy. More>>

 

Employers Pleased: Reports Of Govt Backdown On Low-Wage Immigration

MEA: We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to review incoming immigration changes with a specific focus on how they will affect the regions. Effectively addressing skills shortages in manufacturing and other sectors needs to remain a core part of our immigration system ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

Job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation... More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election