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Medicinal cannabis: 'Docs will have to jump through hoops'

Politics
Cape Town - Marijuana support groups have welcomed the green light given by the government for the manufacture of cannabis for medicinal use, but criticised the proposed guidelines attached to its usage.

The suggested framework would allow cannabis for medicinal purposes, but under strict regulations such as permission from the Medical Control Council for use in exceptional circumstances by registered medical practitioners, and that patients may also only use it under supervision.

Jeremy Acton from Iqela Lentsango: The Dagga Party of South Africa said that now that the healing properties of cannabis were being recognised by the state, it raised the question why was it made illegal?

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File photo: The suggested framework would allow cannabis for medicinal purposes, but under strict regulations such as permission from the Medical Control Council for use in exceptional circumstances by registered medical practitioners, and that patients may also only use it under supervision.

“The answer is that it was made illegal to prevent people from getting access to this health resource, to allow pharmaceutical companies to achieve bigger markets for their patented medicines.”

“Doctors will have to jump through hoops to provide cannabis prescriptions, because the big pharmaceuticals do not want this to be available to people without their corporations being able to control production, supply and price. The Dagga Party and the entire dagga legalisation movement rejects any elitism and control from above as to who gets licences to produce cannabis when this plant has been protected and cultivated by ordinary people for the 100 years of prohibition.

“Our Section 27 Right to Access to health is guaranteed and upheld by this plant growing in our gardens and with public guidelines on how to make the oil safely. Cannabis provides health from its green parts and flowers and food from its seed.”

Acton said that some within the “the cannabis-loving public” will disregard this legislation because they see it as a collusion between pharmaceuticals and government to appropriate this health resource.

“We will continue to lobby and act politically to ensure that the people all get the right to this plant, and equitable participation in production for the broader economy...”

Alexander Downing from the Dagga Union of South Africa, also reacted strongly to the news on social media by stating that he feels there is a better way to tackle the issue, but the current outline is not it.

“To be honest, as a patient, I would much rather pay a small licence fee annually to be able to grow a few of my own cannabis plants in the vegetable garden and use it how I see fit...

“I can see a lot of South Africans opting to grow their own once this new legislation has been enacted. Will the police busts continue? If they do there will be a lot more South Africans choosing to fight for better, more affordable, equitable access in our country’s courts.”

Cape Argus

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