I see that a medicinal cannabis advocate & her lawyer have appeared before the Govt. Health select committee, to address her 17,000 signature petition. The first thing I notice.. media still ‘muddying the waters’ by using the ‘M-word’ in the medicinal context !
I read these comments/statements:
‘(the advocate, Rose) sparked a nationwide debate after she fought for her 19-year-old son, Alex, to become the first person to get approval to use medicinal cannabis.’
‘(Rose R.) speaking to MPs about her petition (17k signature) to decriminalise cannabis for medicinal use.’
‘She said medicinal cannabis was only granted to her son after a long battle with medical staff for backing, and after 43 other drugs had failed.’
‘Those suffering from chronic or terminal illness deserved urgent access to good-quality, safe, affordable cannabis, she said.’
‘(she) told the committee she was contacted every day by people who were desperate, dying and terrified because of the current laws.’
‘She said it was time for MPs to show some empathy and stand up for the people they represented.’
‘There is one product registered for use here – it is imported and costs $1200 for one month’s supply.’ (Sativex)
‘Ministry of Health director of regulation (name removed) said there was a lack of meaningful research on cannabis products and whether they caused harm.’
‘The Green Party member on the committee, (name removed), questioned (health dept. spokesperson) on how cannabis compared with the use of legal products.’
“Irrespective of the lack of clinic trials establishing whether or not it’s effective at pain relief, there is evidence that it’s relatively safe compared to other things that are legal like alcohol,” (Green MP)
‘(the Health Dept. spokesperson) replied it was because there were other more effective pain relievers available that could be prescribed by a doctor.’
then these issues;
‘(name removed), a lawyer who appeared alongside (reform advocate), told MPs the health system was spending $130 million a year on opioid drugs that cannabis could potentially replace.’
‘Some caused serious side effects “yet they’re part of the system so we’re just accepting that, let’s just carry on using them”, (the lawyer) said.’
“Why not look for better, safer alternatives that the rest of the world are turning to ?”
I also read, that the Assoc. minister (resp. Drug policy) has said recently (paraphrased); ‘Police are not arresting genuine medicinal users’ (B-S) this comes, in light of the recent arrest of a tetraplegic man, who was using ‘raw herb’ (from illegal black-market.. cheaper than big-pharma ‘sativex’) to relieve his pain/suffering !
Again.. it seems that the ‘NZ power-brokers’ are just looking for excuses to maintain the status quo (for whatever reasons).. regardless of any evidence being presented & recent polls (94% support) calling for Aotearoa/NZ to catch up to most of the OECD, on this matter.