Pot Populism and Vested Interests

John WhitehallDr John Whitehall Quadrant Online
https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2016/07-08/capitulating-populism-vested-interests/

Medical practice has been turned on its head in the US, with the practitioner giving permission for a third party to advise on type and dose of cannabis. A gross perversion of sound and ethical medicine, moves to legalise ‘medical marijuana’ will see the same consequences here

The Queensland government has released a draft Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill and has invited discussion of its “framework for regulating the lawful supply and use of medicinal cannabis products” in that state. The Bill is an exercise in sophistry: an attempt to justify the medical prescription of a complex herb without scientific examination by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of its components, safety and efficacy…. It does not explain that cannabis is composed of over 400 chemicals whose quantities vary from bud to bud, even from the same plant, and that prediction of composition for prescription is impossible.

… Data from nine Californian clinics has revealed 73 per cent of users to be males aged between eighteen and forty-four. Data from Colorado has confirmed 68 per cent of recipients to be males with a mean age of forty-two. As to the reasons for consumption, Californian data lists pain from back and neck injuries (82.6 per cent), sleep disorders (70.7 per cent), need for relaxation (55.1 per cent), muscle spasms (41.1 per cent), headaches (40.7 per cent), anxiety (37.8 per cent), nausea and vomiting (27.7 per cent), depression (26.1 per cent), poor concentration (22.5 per cent), anger control (22.4 per cent), more energy (15.9 per cent), diarrhoea (5 per cent), seizures (3.2 per cent) and itching (2.8 per cent). These results contradict the image of medical marijuana providing relief for the dying.

The Bill is a capitulation to vested interest. It rejects lessons that have been achieved through much suffering: there was no TGA to protect children when thalidomide was promoted by Big Pharma.

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