This weeks blog post wraps up the final instalment of the information I learnt at the Symposium…
Law Enforcement perspectives
Mick Palmer, ex-Federal Commissioner of Police, said “the case for medicinal Cannabis is incontestable” and that change “should happen very quickly”.
“To suggest the case studies are not convincing enough, to me, is mind blowing” he continued in reaction to suggestions that legalisation of Cannabis for medicinal reasons should wait until large clinical trials have taken place in Australia.
Clint Pheeney, Commander of Tamworth Police, said “a lot of police feel the same way” as Mr Palmer but police policy prohibits police speaking out against other police policies, inhibiting debate within the police force.
Robin Adams, Minister for Health on Norfolk Island, said “I believe cannabis is natures true gift to humanity”.
The currently understood benefits of Cannabis are exciting however the need to public and medical education is vital to the successful treatment of patients with Cannabis medicine.
The need for public and medical awareness
There is a definite need to educate the medical community. Many doctors are unaware of the Endocannabinoid System or the benefits of cannabinoid medicine. The most they learn about Cannabis is that it is a dangerous drug that should be avoided. In fact, until very recently it was near impossible to gain a government grant to support studies into the effects of cannabis unless the purpose of the study was to prove its danger.
Both State and Federal Government should include a provision in the law that all medical students currently studying in Australia must learn about the Endocanabinoid System as part of the official curriculum. All practicing doctors should engage in educational training and certification on medicinal uses of Cannabis. Without doctors realising the benefits the jump between patient and medicine is a long one. Scientific researchers at the University of Sydney, headed by Professor Ian McGregor, are in the process of forming the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Research to further current knowledge. It is vital that the evidence and information they produce is transferred to the medical community through further education.
One final point, repeatedly expressed at the symposium is that of the important of synergy – using all of the plant. Kander said that for fighting cancer whole plant extracts with a full spectrum of cannabinoids works best. Klein asserted that from his experience it is wrong to separate cannabinoids. Due to the complimentary nature of cannabinoids Dr Bearman said “it is a mistake to extract THC and/or CBD from the plant and expect it to act the way cannabis does”.
The law will change and when it does people will finally be able to access this life changing and saving medicine. Legislative reform is only the first step. This information needs to become commonly known in the public sphere as quickly as possible so that people facing these illnesses know their options.
It is time to deal with reality. The reality of the situation is that Cannabis has formally been represented as an dangerous drug. The reality now is that varying degrees of evidence show cannabis is actually a life saving and life improving medicine. Live in reality and enjoy the benefits.
Thank you for following the Cannacare blog and learning everything I learnt from attending the Symposium. From here on out blog posts will be a bit less frequent but will provide you with information about the latest development in medicinal Cannabis.