Medicinal cannabis: Ministry of Health advised against decriminalisation for those in chronic pain

NZ Herald 3 January 2018
Family First Comment: And for good reason…
Cautious and research-based is always the best approach.

The Ministry of Health advised against decriminalising medicinal cannabis for those in chronic pain, saying it would lead to major issues over its legal definition.

The advice is contained in a regulatory impact statement, released at the end of last year, on the Government’s Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill.

The bill would mean a terminally ill person could use illicit cannabis without being prosecuted while a comprehensive prescribing scheme is developed. That olive branch, however, was not extended to those in chronic pain, which has prompted many advocates to say the bill does not go far enough.

The impact statement said decriminalising for those in chronic pain would be problematic.

“Chronic pain is difficult to define, subjective, and would potentially cover a large patient group (21 per cent of adults experience chronic pain). Extending this proposal to this group would be likely to result in significant dispute around the definition of chronic pain.”

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