Opinion

MJ on Sat'day: When will we press the 'go' button?

C'MON: It's time to realise the benefits of medicinal marijuana are real, says MJ.
C'MON: It's time to realise the benefits of medicinal marijuana are real, says MJ. underworld111

IT'S great to see the Government making a move on gay marriage, but when are they going to press the button on medicinal marijuana?

Why do they drag the chain on this? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see how this can help people in pain, so why the delay.

There's a report from Better Health I stumbled across and maybe if somebody in Canberra can read this and understand the facts that it's safe to go. Let's just press the go button.

Researchers surveyed 874 patients (518 users, 356 non-users) and found that users reported significantly better "satisfaction with their health", which included "less pain, less anxiety, less depression, better sleep, less visits to the emergency department and hospital, and fewer sick days versus non-users".

The results may come as no surprise to many medical marijuana patients, especially those who suffer from epilepsy.

These patients in particular reported higher qualities of life, including less hospital visits, versus non-users.

READ MORE | MJ on Sat'day

>> Gladstone, we need to talk

>> Tax these bloody job-stealing bags of bolts!

>> Goondoon St could use a facelift

Another significant finding is that the "majority of epilepsy patients used cannabidiol (CBD) products (56.5%), with 4.8% saying they used THC products". In other words, "these folks don't want the psychoactive effects".

What the results of the study make evident is that public policy and usage are moving quicker than science or research on the subject.

Like so many others, these researchers are calling for more insight into medical marijuana simply because "patients are going to do it anyway".

So why the delay? This is what our 4cc on-air health reporter Gerald Quigley has to say:

"We hear news reports about the impending use of medicinal cannabis," he said.

"The benefits far outweigh any potential risks, and that is part of the reason who so many vested interests are involved.

Real, sincere and genuine patient care seems to be the least of the considerations:

  • Politicians are involved, and that allows personal egos to be strutted to the news bulletins and the camera crews who want a story. Serious facial expressions bely the fact that the longer the discussions go on about appropriate legislation and control, the more media opportunities present themselves.
  • Pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma) involved in the pain management market with commonly prescribed opioid therapies are worried - their market share (and shareholder dividends) are potentially threatened. Nothing upsets this group more that a market opponent - lobbyists are set to work, denigrating comments are forthcoming to the media generally, random research reports of adverse events are dragged up. Sadly for them, investigation of these reports show poor quality cannabis extracts, little standardisation of actives within the plant and poor research direction. However, if they paint an uncertain picture, all is well in their view.
  • Manufacturers of cannabis products are desperately looking for investors. These investors want a quick and really healthy return on their funds, best caused by enough research being generated that a large Big Pharma company will sweep them off their feet with a superb takeover offer. Take the money and go home.
  • Potential prescribers of medicinal cannabis aren't all that keen to get involved. This is a new area, out of their comfort zone of an opioid pill for every chronic pain ill. Education is required (who has time?), moving into new areas is risky (what will my GP mates think?) and will I get a reputation as a prescriber to druggies?
  • Lastly, the patient is involved. More people die in Australia from prescribed opioid misuse than die on our roads. That's a disgraceful statistic and one that is never discussed in the public domain.

READ MORE | Medical marijuana

>> Medical cannabis documents released

>> Gladstone MP backs trials for medical marijuana

>> Medical cannabis being grown at secret Sunshine Coast site

Chronic pain destroys lives, causes social breakdown within the family unit and has an enormous impact on the nation's economy. Australians deserve better. Surely patient outcomes should be the primary consideration?

Medicinal cannabis has been used in Europe and some states within the US for many years. Deaths from prescribed opioids have plummeted.

So what's really, really stopping us from demanding a safer, more reliable and just as effective option to chronic pain? Vested interests? Political posturing? Effective opposition lobbying?

I wonder ... We all wonder.

Gerald Quigley is a pharmacist and master herbalist so he and everyone is waiting for the green light to shine.

Can we get someone in Government to go ahead with a decision or must we vote on everything ourselves. I wonder why we pay for pollies when they can't bite the bullet and just get on with the job.

Topics:  medical marijuana mj on satday opinion same-sex marriage



Ready to vote? Fears Turnbull could call early election

Malcolm Turnbull may call an early election to help save his struggling government.

If disqualified, it would mean a 25% of Nationals shouldn't be there

Flu outbreak: Pharmacies out of Tamiflu as shortage hits

Tamiflu

Pharmacies and their wholesalers are out of stock.

GALLERY: Vietnam War veterans reminisce on fallen mates

LEST WE FORGET: Vietnam Veterans Day - Anzac Park, Gladstone - August 18, 2017.

GLADSTONE remembers and honours Vietnam War veterans.

Local Partners

It's on again for seniors, starting this weekend

Seniors week offers a plethora of activities no matter what your preference.


Get Set for Summer

Win One of Ten Prize Packs
Learn More

Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

This laughter yoga video will have you in fits of giggles

BEST MEDICINE: Karen Flannery is spreading happiness through laughter throughout Hervey Bay.

New members needed for a laughing good time

Dancers show off skills at Toowoomba Eisteddfod

Milla Rowbotham and Rebecca Gill from All Star Dance Academy .Toowoomba Eisteddfod, Empire Theatre. August 2017

Poems and dances dominated the 72nd City of Toowoomba Eisteddfod

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Funnyman talks about the inspiration behind his show, The Other Guy.

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

Movie trailer dubbed too racy for TV

Alicia Vikander stars in Tulip Fever.

THE trailer for Tulip Fever is so saucy some networks have banned it

Liz Hurley, 52, has never looked better

She’s definitely not shy to pose in a bikini.

Life in your 50s has never looked as good as it does on Liz Hurley.

Big Bang Theory star spills details about Season 11

Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory.

MAYIM Bialik has shared some details about what fans can expect.

The Bachelor Australia: Awful joke leaves Matty stunned

Sharlene’s mouth hangs agape after her car crash breakup.

I’m actually one of the bachelorettes — I’m not the external caterer

Samsung set for bigger, beach friendly Note 8

Samsung will be going bigger than ever to launch its Note 8 after this year's launch of the S8.

Water, dust, now sand-resistant?

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry