Concerns over placebos for epilepsy cannabis trial

CONCERNS continue over sick children being administered placebos as the NSW Government pushes forward with its clinical trials of medical marijuana.

UK company GW Pharmaceuticals has signed a memorandum to begin the trials on kids with severe epilepsy next year.

The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network will receive $3.5 million to test the drug in oral liquid form.

Some children deemed too sick to participate in the trial will be given "compassionate access" to the drug and will not be subjected to a possible placebo.

But Nimbin Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said parents were still frightened to take the risk.

"I know a lot of parents don't want to join up because there's the risk their kid will have more seizures, and every one causes brain damage," he said.

"I just wish they would call an amnesty on all other medicinal use in the meanwhile. It's going to take five or six years. People can't wait that long.

Enquiries to the Hemp Embassy have blown out as word spreads of the drug's potential.



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