White offers her view on cannabis trials

“Facts on Cannabis Trials”
Article supplied by Rebecca White MHA
Opposition Spokesperson for Health and Human Services
State Labor Member for Lyons

IN the past few years there have been a number of studies and clinical trials around the world which have examined the efficiency of the medicinal use of cannabis to treat a number of medical conditions. The results of these have shown that cannabinoids can reduce the effects of pain caused by abnormalities of the nervous system and pain experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis. Cannabinoids also reduce the nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patients where patients fail to respond to standard treatment.

The evidence is clear, medicinal cannabis could assist many Tasmanians suffering from terminal and debilitating illnesses by easing pain and associated effects of treatment. With the appropriate safeguards in place it’s time to show compassion and permit a clinical trial of medicinal cannabis production, processing and administration in Tasmania.

The cultivation and processing of a small crop of cannabis for medicinal purposes would also provide benefits to Tasmanian industry. It’s extraordinary that the Tasmanian Liberals are restricting Tasmanian farmers from the possible economic benefits of growing cannabis crops.

Already many Tasmanians have shared their stories of the benefits of cannabis to relieve pain and suffering. It’s common sense that medicinal cannabis products should be available for Tasmanians to use in the same way opiates are available, strictly for medical use. It’s the compassionate thing to do. Unfortunately Health Minister Michael Ferguson has been steadfast in his opposition of this proposal for safe clinical trials into growing medicinal cannabis in Tasmania.

Labor is sponsoring a petition calling for the State Government to allow a trial of medicinal cannabis in Tasmania. The petition is available from Labor MP’s offices. If anyone would like paper copies to distribute in their community, contact my office on 6212 2225.  The petition is available for Tasmanian residents to sign. The e-Petition is available at the Parliament of Tasmania website at www.parliament.tas.gov.au/EPetitions/House/ (go to Current Petitions).

* In response to a question about Labor’s position on medical cannabis prior to the last State Election, Ms White’s office advised the New Norfolk NEWS: “We were in the process of giving permission for the trial of growing cannabis in Tasmania for medicinal purposes just before we lost the election. It was also something that was taken to the election as part of the Tasmanian Labor Party platform.”

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