Where do we stand on medical cannabis?
Sometimes the word 'prevention' in our name can be confusing -- in this blog, we set the record straight on our position on all things medical cannabis.NCPIC doesn’t think medicinal cannabis users are criminals…
It seems like every time we turn around at the moment there’s a new claim that cannabis cures or treats this or that. And while, if proven to be true, these claims would be life-saving or at the very least, life altering, unfortunately the sheer volume of claims and lack of real evidence to support them just makes the constant barrage tiring and overwhelming.NCPIC is not opposed to medical cannabis…
Now, before you jump on us, let’s set the record straight. NCPIC is not opposed to medical cannabinoids (there's no gold-standard research on whole-plant, so we can't comment on its potential).
We do not want to prevent (and have no role in preventing) anyone from getting medication they need and that will help them.
As an organisation, we acknowledge some components of cannabis may be useful in medical applications. And as individuals – Australians no less, who come from a population where around 1 in 3 people will suffer from cancer – we, like many people, hope the growing body of evidence that supports the use of cannabis to relieve chemo side-effects demonstrates its efficacy in scientific studies.
But the fact of the matter is, at this point in time, there just isn’t enough evidence – and we mean the real stuff… high quality studies – to support the many, and seemingly endless ‘cannabis cures…’ claims that are out there.
The problem for us is, if you point out the lack of evidence, you are deemed ‘big pharma’, ‘compromised’, ‘killers’ and various other unfriendly brands, as opposed to being given credit for simply wanting to know more.Yes, we have ‘prevention’ in our name
Our name is the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre. This is a legacy of a less confusing time when medical cannabis wasn’t under debate.
Yes, we work hard each and every day to prevent people – mainly young people whose brains are still developing – from taking up cannabis, as research has shown it can have particularly negative effects on young people.
But we DON'T aim to prevent medical cannabinoids, we just encourage further research.NCPIC doesn’t arrest people or even report them…
We don’t have any influence over the law. None at all. It may come as a surprise to some – especially those people who like to personally attack members of our organisation – but we aren’t a policy organisation.
We provide information and education, we analyse research, we try to prevent uptake in teens whose brains are still developing, we offer free training to the invaluable Alcohol and Other Drugs, mental health and other workers who help Australians, and we provide treatment and support options to people who seek them out.
There are some big moves being made in Australia to legalise cannabis – at least for medicinal use. And there is a population of people who also want it legalised for general use.
Whether or not this happens is not our call.
Regardless, cannabis is still a drug that can affect people physically, mentally and emotionally, can impact their finances and relationships, can change the way they think, feel and move through life. For this reason, even if cannabis were to be legalised one day, the types of support and educational services offered by an organisation like ours (and those similar) are important. And for the moment, while cannabis is still illegal, we continue to do our best to deliver those services.
As said, we don’t actually have any role in commenting on legality, penalties or how those using medicinal cannabis are treated. We do try to promote the law of the day so people can make decisions that are as well-informed as possible.
What we do think, is that people considering using medicinal cannabis should be careful. Firstly, it’s important you understand that plant cannabis should be thought of more as an ‘herbal remedy’ (if you’re using it as medicine) than a legitimate ‘medicine’. When you get it – whether it’s leaves and bud for smoking (which is not a healthy way to take any medication), or oil – the dosage can’t be controlled, contaminants are unknown and you can’t be sure how much THC and CBD is in what you’re taking.
Research has indicated different components may be useful for different illnesses (‘may’ being the operative word) – but can you be sure how much of each is in your dose? Can you really trust the person giving it to you? Do you 100% trust that they have the know-how when it comes to upping the levels of one component and decreasing the other?
We’re not ‘big pharma’, but we can’t help admit that the idea of VERY accurately adjusting the levels of components in the drug, and removing concerns of pesticides or inconsistencies, does appeal even to our personal need for reliability and safety. We’re not sure why this is so often deemed a negative idea!We do think the use of medical cannabis as a front for other agendas is frustrating…
One thing we do find frustrating is that the message and voices of those with real illnesses are SOMETIMES being used as a vehicle for those pro general legalisation to build their agenda upon.
We know there are real people hurting and suffering out there – and they deserve an opportunity for their message to be heard for what it is, and to influence change the way it should. What’s difficult to see, is those who don’t really care about medical cannabis and what it does, but use the images of ill children and wasting patients to drive home a message that is underpinned by a completely different agenda. This doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but it does happen, and it could harm an important cause.NCPIC wants cures too…
And don’t get us wrong, we see the anecdotes and stories. We, as mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, feel intense empathy for people who are suffering from illnesses that are yet to be treated effectively. We even understand they may make personal decisions to seek out options like cannabis.
Where we get concerned, is when other people take their story as gospel. Some of these people are desperate, and if there were other factors in the original story that influenced the result, there may be a lot of disappointed and heart-broken patients who miss out on their ‘miracle cure’. There may also be those who give up conventional treatments in lieu of cannabis, for an illness it hasn’t been proven to treat or cure, and in doing so damage their chances of recovery.
And this is why we think research is so important.
Stories kick things off – it’s undisputable. Anecdotes have their part to play in this process, and that part is inspiring scientists and politicians and researchers to investigate tirelessly to determine if cannabis can indeed be used to cure and treat each illness it is claimed to treat or cure.
And while we agree, the studies haven’t happened fast enough, it is undeniable that the stories and personal accounts have spurred them on and increased the pace.
All we ask is that people be careful. Don’t believe everything you read or hear (even what you read and hear about us). Read widely. Research extensively. Question continuously.A final message…
Our hearts go out to people suffering from the many illnesses it is purported cannabis treats or cures. We genuinely and personally hope you find the relief you need.
NCPIC - Where do we stand on medical cannabis?
Posted 19 October 2015 - 04:20 PM
"Cannabis Prohibition Laws Only Cultivate Organised Crime"
"Don't let fear hold you back, Stand up for your beliefs if you believe Cannabis improves your health." Daryl D
Putting Patients Before Profit
Cannabis was called Cannabis when Australia was founded. Marijuana was a mexican word unknown in Australia until American Reefer Madness arrived.
Posted 19 October 2015 - 04:31 PM
"We’re not ‘big pharma’, but we can’t help admit that the idea of VERY accurately adjusting the levels of components in the drug, and removing concerns of pesticides or inconsistencies, does appeal even to our personal need for reliability and safety. We’re not sure why this is so often deemed a negative idea!"
Because Big Pharma aren't the only ones that are able to do this, as evident over in America, but sure as hell they will be the only ones allowed here.
Posted 19 October 2015 - 04:38 PM
...there's no gold-standard research on whole-plant, so we can't comment on its potential...there just isn’t enough evidence...
It would be nice if they defined what they mean by 'gold-standard'. The lack of definition makes it hard for anyone to weigh up their claim and provide evidence to back up the argument that there are peer-reviewed scientific journal articles on whole Cannabis and that imo is the 'gold-standard'.
Our name is the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre. This is a legacy of a less confusing time when medical cannabis wasn’t under debate.
It was very much under debate then and previous to that time. This is an intentionally misleading statement.
We don’t have any influence over the law. None at all.
I would argue that your organisation (due to the political motivations behind its creation and the associated affiliations) is in a unique position to have influence over the law. That this influence is not enshrined in legislation is irrelevant.
We provide information and education, we analyse research
In a biased, non-scientific fashion.
the dosage can’t be controlled, contaminants are unknown and you can’t be sure how much THC and CBD is in what you’re taking.
This is due only to the laws in our country that prohibit the general public from utilising laboratories to test their Cannabis. This is of course at a detriment to the health of the public.
research is so important
I agree. There is a plethora of scientific research in the public domain that the NCPIC refuse to acknowledge because it does not agree with their dogma.
Posted 19 October 2015 - 08:27 PM
unfortunately the sheer volume of claims and lack of real evidence to support the NCPIC just makes the constant barrage tiring and overwhelming.
The poor have to labour in the face of the majestic equality of the law, which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. ~ Analote France
Posted 20 October 2015 - 01:40 PM
Cannabis acceptance up in smoke
Monday February 19, 2007
Pfizer Australia website at <http://www.pfizer.co.../Cannabis.aspx>
accessed 13 November 2008
New research has cast doubt on the perception that most young Australians consider cannabis to be a benign and harmless drug with a third now viewing it as unacceptable.
Data in the latest Pfizer Australia Health Report jointly published with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), based at the University of NSW, shows that a high proportion of young adults perceive the drug as dangerous, addictive and linked to a range of health and social problems.
The study finds that although almost half (47 percent) of under 30s have friends who use cannabis, one third say that their peer group find its use unacceptable.
“There appears to be a shift in attitude regarding cannabis, even among those people in our community who are more likely to come into contact with the drug,” says Paul Dillon from NDARC.
Concern about the effects of cannabis on the community is also high with 83 percent of all Australian adults believing there are social problems associated with its use.
Other findings include:
• Three-in-four Australians feel cannabis use is dangerous or very dangerous;
• Around 40 percent think cannabis is always addictive with one-in-five thinking it always leads to other drug use, and 60 percent thinking it sometimes leads to other drug use;
• Sixty-eight percent of all Australians believe cannabis use can lead to other crime;
• Close to two-thirds would be equally concerned over whether their adolescent child was smoking cigarettes or smoking cannabis;
• Half of all Australians believe that cannabis can cause schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders to a moderate or large degree.
The report also reveals public opinion is in favour of more action by governments on cannabis. Seventy seven percent of those surveyed believed that authorities should run a public health campaign about the effects of cannabis.
The introduction of roadside drug testing is strongly supported by close to 80 percent of those surveyed. Most felt that cannabis would affect a person’s ability to drive a car and increase the likelihood of a car accident.
The research found that 60 percent agree that people arrested for cannabis use and possession should be referred to treatment programs rather than be punished under the criminal justice system.
“It appears that although Australians believe cannabis is not acceptable in their peer group, they do feel that there should be support given to those who use it,” Paul Dillon commented.
Currently only 10 percent of Australians get their information about cannabis from a drug or alcohol service with others seeking information from sources such as friends, internet, magazines and television.
Mr Dillon says it is important that Australians seek information from a reliable source.
“Friends, family, even the internet can sometimes get it wrong, especially when it comes to separating fact from fiction,” Mr Dillon said.
“There are no black and white answers with cannabis, only shades of grey. These subtleties are often difficult to communicate and can lead to misinformation being disseminated and a polarisation of views.”
“This research clearly shows that it is important that the Australian public is provided good quality information on the health and social impacts of cannabis. There are plans for a new National Cannabis Centre to be opened this year, funded by the Australian Government, which will hopefully assist in this area.”
NDARC has collaborated with Pfizer Australia to assist with educating the public about cannabis to produce this month’s edition of the Pfizer Australia Health Report. Filled with useful information, free copies can be requested by phoning 1800 675 229 or by visiting www.healthreport.com.au where people can also sign-up for email alerts of future editions.
Findings are based on responses from 1439 Australians aged 18 years and over. The research was conducted in 2006 by independent consultants Stollznow Research.
Pfizer Australia is the nation’s leading research-based health care company, investing over $A42m in local research and development annually. It discovers, develops, manufactures and markets innovative medical treatments for both humans and animals. For more information, visit the links on this website or www.leukaemia.org.au.
Posted 21 October 2015 - 02:50 AM
How many time must they research the fact that Cannabis really helps people with a hell of a lot of different illnesses.
So they go an research the researched research then research it again just in case,Sounds like the researchers need researching.
Sounds like the NCPIC need to researched themselves.
Plus it does sound like the NCPIC are hurting from all the bullshit they put out to the public an the public are waking up to all the bullshit they spread.
Posted 21 October 2015 - 06:04 AM
I run and hide , just to help people who need it and myself to try and be pain free or at least lessen the suffering.
And they suffer while Jan clings to her outdated studies and 50's 'evil weed' mentality that has kept this country behind.
I hope the government open the their eyes to see you as the hinderance you are to any sort of compassion for sufferers and what a pawn you are to big pharma..
The ever hunted Hash Nibbler.
And so, life returned to normal, or at least as normal as it gets in this primitive dirtball inhabited by psychotic apes. Thanks to the effects of the Hash waves, the people of Earth have not memory of what had transpired, except Nibbler, and no one believed him or cared what he had to say. I, meanwhile, returned to my post, ever vigilant, lest Earth again come under Hash attack. And when that day comes, God help us. God help us all.
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Posted 21 October 2015 - 08:13 AM
It has been very difficult for anyone to study cannabis when idiots like this support prohibition but the results from studies around the world are becoming astounding. Even big pharma and the US government have recognised the potential of cannabis because the bastards patented the use of cannabis for preventing or treating diseases. They cant have it both ways, its either dangerous with no use OR its very effective and safe to use.
As for the uncertainty of using cannabis ? What are the side effects ? Happiness, munchies, sleeping soundly, euphoria, amazing sex and protection or cures for major diseases. Are those things we should be protected against ? What happens if you have too much cannabis ? Excessive happiness, munchies and sleep. Can any pharmaceutical claim side effects as innocuous as those ?
Preaching to the choir i know but how the hell do these types of people sleep at night knowing that they support human suffering ?
Getting old and cranky, i just want to go into the bush and leave this crap behind sometimes.
----///--\\\---Or who may be suffering from it
Survivors too..God bless em
More compassion in this world is what we need!