News

NSW Government could soon be growing pot for sick kids

THE NSW Government could soon be growing its own pot on behalf of sick children.

In announcing a long-awaited trial of medical cannabis on Sunday, Premier Mike Baird said the Government was prepared to harvest its own if efforts to import the drug failed.

The Government has earmarked $9 million for at least three separate trials to test whether cannabis-derived medical products can provide relief for patients, including one trial for children who suffer from a rare form of drug-resistant epilepsy.

A Medical Cannabis Expert Panel led by NSW Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant will be formed to manage the trials. Mr Baird said the project would harness the expertise of NSW-based clinicians and researchers, alongside the latest research from across the globe.

"Once we have the clinical evidence that medical cannabis can reduce suffering then the Government will consider a range of supply measures, including importation," Mr Baird said.

"But if that does not prove successful then the Government will assume responsibility for supply itself."

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the trial for children would be run in partnership with leading epilepsy experts from The Children's Hospital at Westmead and Sydney Children's Hospital.

"These experts will assess medicines derived from cannabis plants on the basis of the same risks and benefits as any other medicine," Ms Skinner said.

The Government will also invest in two further clinical trials for adults with terminal illness and those with chemotherapy-induced nausea.

No prosecution for terminally ill cannabis users

TERMINALLY ill adults who already use cannabis to alleviate their symptoms will be protected from prosecution in a scheme announced by Premier Mike Baird to coincide with the trial of medical cannabis.

New guidelines will assist NSW Police officers in determining when and how to use their discretion not to charge adults with terminal illness who use cannabis, or the carers who assist them.

To register for the Scheme, NSW residents aged 18 or over are required to have their terminal illness certified by a medical practitioner who is registered in Australia and involved in their ongoing care.

"I am hopeful the trials will help us to better understand what role medical cannabis can play in alleviating symptoms in seriously ill patients, while the Scheme will help to lighten the burden of stress for those suffering."

Further information about the clinical trials and the Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme can be found at http://www.nsw.gov.au.

NIMBIN REACTION

NIMBIN HEMP Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the trials and associated Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme was a "terrific move" by Mr Baird.

"At least he's made a move in the right direction - I imagine these trials could include quite a number of people," Mr Balderstone said.

Controversially however, Mr Balderstone said he believed there was no real difference between the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis.

"They've got this funny thing about whatever happens no one's allowed to enjoy themselves you've got to be terminal before you're allowed to have it."

"People come home from a hard day's work and smoke a couple of pipes - is that recreational or is it medicinal?"

"I believe it's a medicinal herb. Eventually I think the line between medicinal and recreational usage will evaporate."

He added that he hoped police would be given "very wide discretionary powers" in the scheme and would perhaps "leave Nimbin alone".

Topics:  cannabis, editors picks, marijuana, medical marijuana




Guns, bullets, and drugs seized in Northern Rivers raid

Police conduct drug raids in the city and surrounding areas, confiscating an array of drugs, implements used to conceal drugs, and firearms. A number of people are on multiple charges. July 8, 2016

Rural property searched and two people charged.

Why wasn't North Coast beach closed after shark bump?

BEACH CLOSED: Authorities decided not to close Sharpes Beach after two surfers were knocked off their boards on Tuesday.

Incident was considered an "encounter not an attack"

Car over infinity pool was 'wow factor' at Jaguar launch

Elements at Byron has hosted the Jaguar SUV launch.

The event was described as the car company's "best launch ever"

Latest deals and offers

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Ngaiire: "I miss Lismore...”

ON STAGE: Former Northern Rivers resident Ngaiire during her set at Splendour.

Singer Ngaiire opens up at Splendour in the Grass

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started