Thursday, 18 August 2011

Cannabis, Drugs and Medicine

In a few weeks time I am going to the Cutting Edge Conference, it is New Zealand's Leading conference on Drug Treatment and Addiction and is for the workers and researchers in this field. In 2008 I presented my Literature Review on "The Public Health Message on Cannabis" not a long presentation as most things cannabis are not dealt very well with in this country as cannabis is illegal and tends to remain outside the medical framework. As consequence the messages about cannabis are nearly all bad.

I am confused and concerned enough to consider staging a protest at this conference for my friends who use medical marijuana. In particular I would like to highlight the plight of my friend billy McKee. He is an amputee in a wheel chair who uses cannabis as a medicine. Billy does not usually smoke cannabis he prefers to use it in tea and as a poultice directly applied to his stump. He is currently on bail for supplying medical marijuana to Green Cross members. he has been making available a medicine that has been used in Asia for 2000 years.

Medicine is medicine and our medical notes and records are private. Who uses what and when is confidential.
So what if you are on anti-biotics, prozac, pain killers or sleeping pills its private and your business alone. If people derive relief for their pain of other conditions why are we being so precious. We don't meddle when Gran takes sleeping pills, or prozac, why does anyone begrudge  anyone from using this form of medication. We all know Doctors prescribe dangerous and addictive drugs that can cause harm especially when over prescribed or in the wrong hands.

Medicine is medicine, and many have side effects when taken. Medicines react differently on different people, some medicines are addictive and panadol is responsible for more poisoning and deaths in this country than illicit drugs. Cannabis is so benign there has never been a  fatal dose recorded.

So I think that Billy should have his medicine, he is after all, 50 plus years old. I am just wondering how far to take this at the conference. I shall at the very least wear a Free Billy t -shirt.
And do a little dissenting...

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