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No more excuses for Minister of Health

November, 2003

No more excuses for Minister of Health

Green MP Nandor Tanczos has called on the Minister of Health to heed the results of the world's largest ever study into the effects of medicinal cannabis for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and take the brakes off medical marijuana.

Nandor, the Green spokesperson for Cannabis Law Reform, called it cruel and callous to continue to deny pain and spasm relief for the estimated 3000 MS sufferers in New Zealand in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

"The Government has adopted a wait-and-see attitude while thousands of New Zealanders continue to suffer," said Nandor.

"It is no longer good enough for the Government to say it is waiting for the evidence. What kind of evidence does it take to do something for the 3000 MS sufferers and the thousands of people on HIV medication and chemotherapy to get natural pain and nausea relief?" he asked.

"This is clear evidence that cannabis is effective medicine for MS. Why do we need to wait for a pharmaceutical company to figure out how to make a profit from it before allowing sick people to use it?"

The survey, published in The Lancet journal, showed that cannabis can reduce pain and improve the lives of those with MS. Participants reported a reduction in MS symptoms, such as muscle stiffness and tremors, and said that cannabis gave them greater mobility.

Nandor said it was shameful that cannabis prohibitionists continue to cling to unreasonable beliefs in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

"I hope that these results will convince Peter Dunne to withdraw his irrational opposition to cannabis for medicinal purposes.

"His reported statements that medicinal cannabis use would be a 'thin end of the wedge' for cannabis law reform is an insult to the thousands of New Zealanders who suffer immense pain from their illnesses and from the side-effects of other medicines.

"He is out of touch with ordinary New Zealanders who genuinely care about their fellow citizens," said Nandor.


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