For Australians who are hoping the country will follow in the footsteps of a number of American states in allowing cannabis to be used legally as prescription medication, their hopes may have been dashed by a medical expert who says it won’t be approved for such use, according to an article on News.com.au
Cannabis has variable potency
Professor David Penington, former Dean of the Medical School at the University of Melbourne, says in the latest issue of the Medical Journal Australia that cannabis will never be marketed as prescription medication because “it contains a variety of components of variable potency and actions, depending on its origin, preparation, and route of administration”.
Professor Penington’s comments come on the heels of efforts to study the viability of cannabis as prescription medicine. At present, three states are studying the possibility of making cannabis available for medicinal purposes. The NSW government alone is conducting three trials on using medicinal cannabis to relieve terminally-ill adults suffering pain, nausea, and vomiting as well as children with severe, drug-resistant Epilepsy. On top of the clinical trials, the federal Senate will also be deliberating a private member’s bill that aims to establish a regulating body that will to administer the production and distribution of the drug, should it ever become legal.
“Cannabis has variable effects on individuals. It will not be possible to determine universally safe dosage of cannabis for individuals based on a clinical trial”, says Professor Penington.
We completely agree with Professor Penington, especially the part about cannabis having variable effects on individuals. One patient could feel relief, while another could have a more adverse reaction like hallucinations. Just because 23 American states have legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes doesn’t mean we have to rush making it legal here too. Cannabis use has a lot of potential to become cannabis abuse, and that will definitely be a problem for employers, as employees can easily just claim to have been prescribed the drug, never mind the effects that could endanger themselves and everyone else in the workplace.
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