Pubdate: Sat, 19 Jul 2003
Source: Listener, The (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2003 Wilson & Horton
Author: Duncan Eddy
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


My heart goes out to Greg Soar (letters, June 21), coordinator for
Green Cross, the Medicinal Cannabis Support Group of New Zealand. Soar
is a sick man, and the challenges put before him as he tries to get
legal access to a cheap, efficacious herbal medicine must take their

Tricia Briscoe of the Medical Association supports moves to utilise
the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but calls for more research into
the herb's therapeutic qualities before any legislative changes.
Briscoe is also concerned about the possible harms arising from
cannabis abuse.

The medicinal value of cannabis has been well documented for 2000
years. Cannabis is cheap and easy to grow. It relieves the misery
caused by serious illnesses such as epilepsy, cancer and HIV. It's
downsides are insignificant compared to the side effects of
pharmaceutical substances such as morphine that many seriously ill
patients are routinely prescribed by their doctors.

The Netherlands and Canada have medical marijuana distribution
programmes. Meanwhile, those who use this therapeutic herb here are
being arrested, imprisoned, and having their medicine confiscated. How
about a little humanity? Sick people are continuing to suffer
needlessly while bureaucrats and legislators pour forth volumes of hot

Duncan Eddy
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