In light of recent public debate around the issues of Medicinal Cannabis in Aotearoa/NZ, the minister responsible has made several statements on it. Most are clearly seen, as just ‘defending a position’ as opposed to looking at any viable alternative options. There are a few issues that have been raised: things actually occurring in other OECD countries; ie allowing Cannabis to be prescribed by doctors: Oils, Extracts & even the ‘raw bud’, scientific research into its potential uses, open & honest political & public debate. Here in Aotearoa/NZ none of these things are really occurring at any observable level. It’s all “lets wait & see” & “I’ll make the decisions”.. ie “I know best” BUT the minister has made the following comments, which almost negates his so-called ‘expert opinion’ :
“I am not a clinician, so therefore, in considering any such applications, I have made it very clear that I will be strongly guided by the clinical advice which I receive. The reason for the decision in such cases being made at a Ministerial level has nothing to do with cannabis, but is simply because the applications are being made as an exception to the existing law.”
Of course the big question is : “why is this minister actually refusing to look at ANY changes to the law ?”
Is he really just a puppet, with a ‘higher power’ pulling his strings ?
He also stated this :
“We are watching closely the clinical trials being conducted in the United States and Australia, but they are not likely to produce results before 2016-2017 at the earliest. It is possible that were the FDA or the Therapeutic Goods Agency to approve medicinal cannabis products as a result of these trials our regulator Medsafe would look to follow suit here, but that is still some time away.”
Whilst the Minister ‘watches & waits’, people who could benefit from medicinal cannabis, suffer or take other ‘approved’ medicines that are reportedly; less beneficial. They do actually have the option of applying for ‘Sativex’ (only currently approved cannabinoid drug in NZ) but it is never guaranteed that after jumping through all the hoops.. it will be approved. The Minister has stated that he will be guided by the Medical profession, but according to some sources, the NZ medical profession are either ignorant or deliberately being kept ‘in the dark’ on potential of Cannabis for medicinal or therapeutic uses ?
I await further updates.. ‘watch this space’