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No clinical trials for medicinal cannabis - Dunne

Thursday 08 Sep 2011 3:52p.m.

No clinical trials for medicinal cannabis - Dunne

By Lloyd Burr

The Government has poured cold water on the Law Commission’s recommendation to conduct clinical trials for the medicinal use of cannabis.

Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne made the ruling today when he announced the Government would be overhauling and replacing the 40-year-old Misuse of Drugs Act.

Mr Dunne said “among the more controversial Law Commission recommendations in its May report was that clinical trials be conducted into the medical use of leaf cannabis”.

“We are not going with that recommendation,” he said.

“It is the Government’s view that it is not its role to initiate clinical trials on cannabis leaf or any other product or substance.

“If the active ingredient of cannabis is seen as essential or beneficial for pain relief there are already pharmaceutical forms of it available that provide measured doses and quality control,” Mr Dunne said.

The Law Commission report, Controlling and Regulating Drugs: a Review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, was delivered in May and the Government has since been considering its findings and recommendations.

Mr Dunne says the Government is still working on policy from the report’s 144 recommendations and will present proposals to Parliament later in the year.

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