February 8 2017
The Grey Power Federation has commended the Government for finally easing access to medical cannabis.
Associate health Minister Peter Dunne today (Feb 8) announced that authority to approve applications for non-pharmaceutical grade medicinal cannabis will be held by Ministry of Health professionals rather than the minister.
Grey Power Federation president Tom O’Connor said there has been a long campaign by several groups and individuals seeking a relaxation of the law around cannabis use.
“Unfortunately the genuine needs of seriously ill people were clouded by a noisy group seeking the right to grow their own cannabis for recreational use and so called self-medication. We had a bit of a stoush with them a few months ago when they jumped on the band waggon but we tossed them off again.
In our discussions with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne both promised to give careful consideration to our request to make access for people in genuine need easier. Until now it could take several months for an application to be approved and then only fully tested products were considered. We saw no justification in people suffering when help could be made available much faster and easier.”
O’Connor said there was a world of difference between cannabis based pharmaceuticals, fully tested or otherwise, and home grown cannabis for self-medication, which the federation did not support.
“There is still some way to go in terms of making a greater range of products available and funded by Pharmac but this is a very good start which probably could have been made earlier if the recreational use lobby had not slowed the process, he said.