WA Labor moves to help Western Australians dying in pain

July 6th, 2014 by: Kwinana Electorale Office

Sunday 06 Jul 2014

Fast Facts:

WA Labor would move to allow the strictly limited use of medicinal cannabis in tablets or spray form for patients in pain with terminal or chronic conditions.
Medication would only be prescribed by General Practitioners.
 Use of recreational cannabis would continue to be illegal.

WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan has backed moves for medicinal cannabis to be prescribed under the strict supervision of medical practitioners for patients suffering painful terminal or chronic pain conditions.

WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan told today’s WA Labor State Conference that Western Australians suffering terminal or chronic conditions deserved compassion and support.

He asked, why should Western Australians suffer in agony, if there’s another way to relieve their pain?

Mr McGowan said he supported the use of pharmaceutical or medicinal cannabis prescribed by doctors in tablet or spray form for the relief of pain, vomiting or nausea in terminally or chronically ill people. There is also clear evidence that it helps promote appetite in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Mr McGowan said in government he would instruct Health Minister Roger Cook to investigate how this could be implemented with strict controls and monitoring.

Mr McGowan said it was appropriate to give doctors the option of prescribing medicinal cannabis when other medications have failed.

He made it clear that only medical practitioners would be able to issue prescriptions for tablets or sprays in the same way as other legal medications are dispensed.

Use of medicinal cannabis would be limited in a safe and defined way.

Labor remained opposed to any softening or liberalisation of drug laws. There would be no softening of the law in relation to the cultivation, possession or use of recreational cannabis.

Mr McGowan said he had come to support the use of medicinal cannabis after meeting a young man who slowly died of a terminal illness in a nursing home.

He was wasting away in pain and sought relief through cannabis. His family and carers knew it was the only thing that helped relieve his pain.

Comments from WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan:

“Why should anyone suffer in agony, if there’s another way to relieve their pain?”

“I believe it’s appropriate to give doctors the option of prescribing medicinal cannabis when other medications have failed.”

“This is about using pharmaceutically produced tablets or sprays. It’s not about growing your own. It’s not about recreational use.”

“I remain opposed to any softening or liberalisation of our drug laws.”

“I oppose the decriminalisation, cultivation or use of recreational cannabis. Full Stop.”

MARK MCGOWAN MLA – WA LABOR LEADER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT; ECONOMIC REFORM; PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGEMENT

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