Medical Marijuana links

Facebook link: Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain Advocacy group NZ.

Also on Facebook an open page: Medical Marijuana New Zealand

Related links:

The scientific and clinical evidence to support the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products is not yet overwhelming. However, it is well-established enough to suggest cannabis has therapeutic benefits in treating people with serious conditions such as:

  • chronic pain for which other pain relief treatments are ineffective, or have  bad side-effects
  • neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease
  • nausea and vomiting for which existing drugs are ineffective or have bad side-effects
  • HIV-related and cancer-related wasting (cachexia).

Cannabis provides a ‘broad spectrum’ effect. For example, patients with HIV/AIDS-related conditions, cannabis can reduce nausea, pain and joint aches, while providing appetite stimulation and potentially reducing anxiety.

Under New Zealand law, the Minister of Health has the power to authorise the medicinal use of cannabis products. There have been few applications however, and ministerial approval has been granted for only a small number of patients

Read the Drug Foundation evidence review and policy paper on medicinal cannabis.

New Zealand patients need safe legal access to medicinal cannabis

Download or read NORML’s leaflet about Medical Cannabis [PDF]

The cannabis plant has been part of humanity’s medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded. Hundreds of recent studies validate the therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids. Of all the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use.

Mission Statement: To achieve a change in the law which presently prohibits the use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes so that those who are ill, with the aid and observation of their personal doctor, may be allowed to cultivate, obtain, possess and utilise medicinal Cannabis at their physician’s discretion in order to ensure the recommended prescribed treatment remains uninterrupted. We see our purpose as to provide an organization with one goal…. Making Cannabis legally available to those who should have the right to use it… the patients.

Cannabis has both positive and negative effects and should always be used under medical supervision. We invite you to read our Effective Use of Medicinal Cannabis information.

Medical cannabis (or medical marijuana) refers to the use of cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms. TheCannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures.[1] Its usage in modern times is controversial, and in recent years the American Medical Association, the MMA, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and other medical organizations have issued statements opposing its usage for medicinal purposes.[2][3][4]

Cannabis has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with AIDS, and to treat pain and muscle spasticity;[5] its use for other medical applications has been studied, but there is insufficient data for conclusions about safety and efficacy. Short-term use increases minor adverse effects, but does not appear to increase major adverse effects.[6] Long-term effects of cannabis are not clear,[6] and there are safety concerns including memory and cognition problems, risk for dependence and the risk of children taking it by accident

Cannabis-based medicines such as Sativex are legally available in New Zealand with a prescription from a specialist doctor, but is currently not subsidized and requires patients to meet strict criteria.[25] Only around 30 prescriptions have been given out over the last 4 years. The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports having evidence based peer reviewed studies of medical cannabis.[26] In 2010 the New Zealand Law Commission made a recommendation to allow for its medical use.[27] The NZMA, which made submissions on the issues paper, supports the stance put forward by the Law Commission.[3]

This is an information site intended to offer a broad range of material on medical cannabis. The intention is to obtain and include as much New Zealand input as possible.

Medical cannabis is not a wonder drug, but its place in the management of many conditions is underestimated. In part because it offers up very low cost alternatives currently marketed by Pharmaceutical companies. Also because it’s recreational use has been an easy target for negative media hype, once again driven initially by self interested US media barons and compounded by those with personal agendas both here and overseas. Hence not only will medical aspects be explored but consideration will be given to overall harm minimisation and how prohibition impacts on medical cannabis.

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    Although there has been scientific evidence that marijuana can shrink and even kill tumors since the 1970s, much of the recent public interest in this research has been inspired by Run From The Cure, a documentary about a Canadian man who claims that the concentrated oil from the cannabis plant has cured his skin cancer. He then tries the cure on a number of other cancer victims in his community with similar results.

    Researchers have now found that the compound, called cannabidiol, has the ability to ‘switch off’ the gene responsible for metastasis in an aggressive form of breast cancer. Importantly, this substance does not produce the psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant.

    “If you heat the plant, you will decarboxylate THC-acid and you will get high, you”ll get your 10 mg. If you don’t heat it, you can go up to five or six hundred milligrams & use it as a Dietary Cannabis. . . and push it up to the Anti-oxidant and Neuro-protective levels which come into play at hundreds of milligrams,” stated Dr. William Courtney.

  2. I still can’t see why this Govt. ignore the overseas evidence & worldwide recent polls.. cannabis does have medicinal & therapeutic value & a majority of poll respondents would like it to see it available.
    Some one once said that the current situation, with natural cannabis is like ‘allowing vitamin C tablets, but banning orange juice or citrus fruit’ ie bowing down to ‘big pharm’ !


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