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Select Committee Report into Medicinal Cannabis released

Select Committee Report into Medicinal Cannabis released 9 May 2014

GreenCross NZ Press Release

The Select Committee Report:

Green Cross NZ is appalled and dismayed at the Select Committee's Report on the petition of William Joseph Rea which requested the House to consider the ability for patients to benefit from raw cannabis, the only plant on this planet to provide cannabinoids, the dietary essential for our recently discovered endocannabinoid system.

The Select Committee has chosen to ignore the most recent scientific evidence which has opened the floodgates internationally to allow patients to benefit from raw and dried cannabis. Despite there being over 500,000 medical studies confirming the medicinal qualities of this plant and others explicitly stating that cannabis provides a necessary dietary supplement for humans, the Select Committee has stated in its conclusion, "that the Ministry of Health continue to review world literature on the use of cannabis and its derivatives as a medicine."

Recommending that the Ministry of Health read recent literature was good advice since it presented to the Select Committee out-of-date information arising from the spurious days of the past and its racist propaganda of "reefer madness". Despite this already debunked evidence provided to the Select Committee being countered by Dr Geoff Noller in his Submission, the Select Committee chose to ignore his evidence in preference to the Ministry's and, instead of taking a proactive stance, merely recommended that the Ministry keep reading. The Select Committee's Report to the house has failed to address evidence-based science and has failed to recommend urgent support for the very sick, which includes young children whose parents are calling for the lawful use of raw cannabis for their children's epilepsy and other medical conditions.

Its only other recommendation to the House was to avoid responsibility for this important issue and suggest, instead, that Pharmac address the provision of their expensive and unaffordable synthetic cannabinoid products for chronic pain in lieu of the government simply altering its policy to enable citizens to be able to grow their own medicine cheaply and immediately. The law exists to allow patients to do this but every application from the sick and dying has been turned down by the Ministry of Health because of National Government policy.

Dr Sanjay Gupta from the United States, a neurosurgeon and medicinal cannabis advocate, has recently stated that cannabis in its raw form is the best form of taking cannabis for our health. He adds that the government is hypocritical with its policy in that on the one hand they are patenting cannabis while on the other hand, holding back on the sick refusing laws at a federal level so that people may grow their own and, all the time, claiming it has no medical applications,” Gupta told Cooper. “Journalists are trained to hate hypocrisy. This is hypocrisy. I’ve never seen it quite like this.”

GreenCross NZ appeals to all journalists to pick up the mantle and expose our government's appalling ignorance about cannabis, its non-efforts to help the sick and transform their lives so that they may be useful citizens and to examine the financial incentives from, and benefits to, pharmaceutical and alcohol companies that continue while the National Party maintains it policy of cannabis prohibition and stubbornly and ignorantly refuses to follow international, evidence-based medical studies and science to change the laws to allow citizens their human rights to life, health and self determination as guaranteed under the UN Declaration of Human Rights to which NZ is a signatory.


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