Attempts to side-step Peter Dunne to get Medical Marijuana considered

Peter Dunne is really getting up my nose. He is actually unfit for his job.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne had Ministry officials and medical professionals look at guidelines used to assess applications for prescribing cannabis-based products.

The review concluded there was a lack of data to support using the products.

Of course there is a lack of data…the products are illegal, research on cannabis related drugs is illegal…this is the massive problem in the US as well.

And politicians keep on saying that there is no research…it is because of them that this is the case. No wonder people are trying to do an end run around the blockage, in this case Peter Dunne.

Now a group of medicinal cannabis advocates, including the former president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly, have signed an open letter denouncing the review, saying it used biased methodology, and made misleading and deceptive scientific claims.

They have called for an independent inquiry into medical cannabis products. 

Southland Hospital consultant anesthetist Paul Wieland told Nine to Noon the rules for prescribing the drug were very strict and costly.

“It’s so ridiculously expensive, it costs… 12 or 13 hundred dollars a month, and who can afford it?”

He said there was not enough good data on medical cannabis worldwide because of the legal status of the drug.

“For example in… the United States it is nigh impossible to do cannabis studies unless you look at negative side effects because they have to be approved by a number of political bodies.

“For some reason many politicians seem still to be locked into this Reefer Madness thinking that was so prevalent in the ’30s and 40s,” Dr Wieland said.

A lot of the evidence for the positive effects of cannabis was based on anecdotal accounts, or came from case studies, he said.

“What is really needed to happen is for some clinical trials involving the whole cannabis plant.”

Nelson chronic pain sufferer Rebecca Reider, who was recently discharged without conviction for importing a cannabis pain relief product, said Mr Dunne was “categorically resistant” to the drug, and there is a strong anti-cannabis bias in the review.

She said the doctors who provided the advice for the review did not have specific medical cannabis training, and the legal status of the drug made it hard for doctors to become familiar with it.

It is time to mount a very nasty and very active campaign to unseat Peter Dunne. I’m up for it. This man ahs become an impediment to cannabis reform and also to RMA reform.

Peter Dunne has served his purpose. Times’s up.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.