Peter Dunne’s new position on cannabis is meaningless

By   /   June 5, 2017  /   7 Comments

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Peter Dunne has announced doctors will be able to prescribe CBD – but no products are yet available, and when they are, like Sativex they will be expensive and unaffordable for most people who could benefit from it.

Peter Dunne has announced doctors will be able to prescribe CBD – but no products are yet available, and when they are, like Sativex they will be expensive and unaffordable for most people who could benefit from it.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has announced Cannabidiol (CBD) will be “rescheduled” so that GPs and other doctors can prescribe it to patients without needing special approval.

The Ministry of Health claims CBD is a Class B1 drug that until now has required special Ministerial approval under the 1977 Misuse of Drugs regulations.

After years of denying medical benefits, then years of blocking patients from accessing cannabinoids, the latest change of heart follows Nelson lawyer Sue Grey’s threat of legal action against the Ministry of Health (supported by NORML and others), and the fast-tracking of a clinical trial that showed medical benefits from using CBD in children with epilepsy.

What is changing? Not a lot – yet. The intention is still to pharmaceuticalise CBD. This means registering a product under the Medicines Act – the application fee alone is $180,000 and they could insist on years of clinical trials – and until that happens nothing changes. Doctors cannot prescribe a product that is not available here, without a special permit that has only been granted in a handful of cases. Funding will also remain an issue, with a pharma-CBD product expected to be expensive like Sativex. If however we took a herbal remedy or food-based approach, local and affordable cannabis-based product could be available here within months. Regulations can be changed at any time.

More info is at https://norml.org.nz/2017/legal-status-of-cannabidiol-cbd/

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About the author

Chris Fowlie

Former editor of NORML News, Chris Fowlie is president of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, manager of The Hempstore, and court-recognised expert witness for serious cannabis charges.

7 Comments

  1. Same old Smit says:

    As an ADHDer, I imagine that specific strain based remedies that would work for me will still be unavailable to me, as well as the cost of phamacueticalized CBD product being too expensive.
    Until we get a dispensary style model with many strains available, little medical efficacy for unwell people will be achieved in NZ.

    Everyone is different, and not all drugs work for all people. All doctors know this. A few products with no THC is so limited compared to a shop with up to a hundred strains.

    Having a couple or even a few products and all being low THC profile is extremely limited in effective medical scope compared to hundreds of strains of freshly grown and natural buds.

    THC itself has many medical applications.

    And many studies have shown that isolating cannabinoids away from their other naturally occurring active constituents, is merely creating franken med-pot, and like GMO foods, probably unsafe and deserving of extreme caution.

    Plus the local street dealer will be probably 20% or less of the price!

    Yawn.

  2. countryboy says:

    What the fucks wrong with getting stoned anyway? What’s wrong with being allowed, for a brief moment, to faze out of the beige that the pink N cleaners, like fuck-head dunne force us to acquiesce too.
    All this fake handwringing from dopy dunne is a power trip he and his ego are on. Does he get a rare stiffy thinking of how powerful his position is on this matter? He has people’s lives and well being hanging on his words. I fucking know what should be hanging. Our heads in shame for allowing the incompetent little flower to bully us around. Shame on us. Where is he? Why is he not running while screaming?
    As for pot? For Gods sake ! Get Stoned ! It’s great ! And it has health benefits ! Amazing! And that little prick’s getting in the way of a healthy and fun time? OMG. No, seriously. OMG. You see him? You fucking tell him. Vigorously and repeatedly.

  3. Kevin says:

    Peter Dunne’s time as a member of parliament should have ended years ago, he is way out of touch and is a bit of a plonker.It’s a shame that important policies and decisions are in the hands of a total dick head.
    Peter please resign and allow society to move on,we will all be better off without your small minded meddling.

  4. Mark says:

    The only thing Dunne can do now is resign and say sorry to all those people he has been denying for decades.
    Next we need to create some balance in the Minister appointed EACD, the deck there has been stacked to suit Dunne.
    and finally, do something about the bureaucrats in the MoH, its clear none of them have a bloody clue when it comes to cannabis.

  5. Strypey says:

    Allowing pharmaceutical versions of cannabis while denying access to the real thing creates a market for products that otherwise nobody would consider buying. It’s a distraction, for all the reasons Chris gives.

    However, moving prescription decisions from the Minister, to the Ministry, to doctors, where they ought to be, is a good precedent. Now that doctors’ right to prescribe certain cannabinoid products has been recognised, we need to demand that recognition be extended to cannabinoids in their natural form. Then we need to demand a legal supply for patients, along with legal access to vapour/ edible based delivery methods, that are safer than inhaling smoke.

    Even when we get a regulated, taxed, commercial supply for recreational use, genuine medical users still need to be able to get prescriptions and access to affordable supplies (including self-grow).

  6. Ras Gonzo says:

    oh goody, the greens had submitted a ballot today, Parliament will sit very soon to consider grow your own legislation,,
    about bloody time we caught up with the rest of the free world, instead of carrying on like an oppressed fifedom sucking big pharma dick