Doctors should manage a tightly regulated, compassionate regime for the use of medicinal cannabis in Australia, a leading public health organisation has told an ACT inquiry.
The Public Health Association has labelled state and territory governments, including the ACT, “out of step with the attitudes and behaviour of much of the general public and professional opinion” on the use of cannabis to treat some illness.
A position statement incorporated into the organisation’s submission to the Legislative Assembly inquiry considering the use of cannabis for medical purposes says the fact the drug is already widely used illegally means a regulated system is unlikely to lead to more illicit drug taking in the community.
It calls for the ACT and New South Wales to offer terminally ill people access to cannabis “where their doctors and the state or territory health department agree that cannabis may provide palliation benefits to the patient”.
Public Health Association chief executive Michael Moore said much of the existing opposition to the medicinal use of cannabis in Australia was based in political and ideological views, and did not consider compassionate medical practice.