Today is the day it becomes legal for NSW doctors to prescribe medicinal marijuana. You have to wonder…did Newtown stoner food joint D’Munchies forsee this change?
Under amendments to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulations, cannabis-based medication will become available to patients seeking treatment beyond normal means.
Although medicinal marijuana restrictions are still tough, this regulation will provide comfort for many suffering patients and a stepping stone for legalisation activists.
Clinical trials have been conducted in NSW prior to this amendment in order to deem the effectiveness and appropriateness of cannabis as a treatment option.
The drug shows promising results in nauseated chemotherapy patients and children with epilepsy. Additionally, cannabis can provide comfort to those inflicted with terminal illnesses.
Outside of Australia, marijuana is being used to treat a variety of mental illnesses, notably anxiety and depression, as well as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, dementia and as an appetite stimulant for patients infected with HIV/AIDS.
It may surprise some that this treatment is being considered for children, but rest assured only a select handful of specialised paediatric neurologists have been authorised by the Therapeutic Goods Association to administer cannabis-based medication to epileptic children.
As with the introduction of any new form of treatment, the necessary steps have been taken to ensure the safety of any eligible patients. Premier Mike Baird speaks on the matter:
“We will be able to deliver access to Epidiolex [the drug] to allow some of our most vulnerable children to use a cannabis-based medicine under medical supervision.”
“Parents have told us they do not want to play pharmacist – they want nothing but the best for their children and we are driven by this same purpose.”
Admittedly, these are baby steps on the path to legalisation the likes of which are enjoyed in Amsterdam, Colorado and other progressive overseas states. Nonetheless, NSW is the first Australian state to demonstrate a willingness to consider the benefits cannabis has to offer – hopefully this helps to break down the numerous negative discourses surrounding marijuana use today.