Log in with your email address username.

×

Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Medical cannabis: time for clear thinking

- Featured Image

Australia is behind the times on the medical use of cannabis

The debate about the medical use of cannabis in Australia has become confused with the proposal for a formal clinical trial instead of proceeding to legislation in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria. Debates about prohibition of cannabis have a long history,1 as has the proposal for medical cannabis in Australia.2 Politicians are nervous about being “soft on drugs”, especially before an election. The clinical trial proposed, if successful, presumes that cannabis would then be approved and regulated as a pharmaceutical substance.

We need to be across the facts and options. Cannabis can never be a pharmaceutical agent in the usual sense for medical prescription, as it contains a variety of components of variable potency and actions, depending on its origin, preparation and route of administration. Consequently, cannabis has variable effects in individuals. It will not be possible to determine universally safe dosage of cannabis for individuals based on a clinical trial.

Extreme views in the debate about any form of cannabis decriminalisation are advanced with almost religious fervour. On the one hand, some assert that cannabis is a dangerous, highly addictive drug which causes schizophrenia, and that any move to relax prohibition would be a disaster.…

email