WA Uniting Church backs medical cannabis

marijuana to produce medicinal products

The Uniting Church has urged the West Australian government to consider legalising medical cannabis. Source: AAP

THE Uniting Church has urged the West Australian government to consider legalising cannabis for medicinal use.

AT its annual meeting at the weekend, the WA church’s synod voted in favour of changes to state law so doctors could prescribe medicinal cannabis, which would be administered under supervision.

Medical cannabis has a high proportion of cannabidiol, which has a range of medical benefits and a low proportion of the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol. Uniting Church WA acting general secretary Rosemary Hudson Miller said some attendees to the meeting shared personal experiences, describing how loved ones with chronic or terminal illnesses had found morphine inadequate for managing pain and suffered side effects such as nausea and vomiting. “The current laws mean that family and friends choose, at some personal risk, to provide cannabis to relieve symptoms and pain, rather than watch the agony of suffering,” she said. It was the second time the topic was raised with the WA government at the weekend – about 250 people called for the legalisation of medical cannabis at a rally in Perth’s city centre on Sunday. State Health Minister Kim Hames said there was evidence that cannabis and its extracts were beneficial in treating a range of conditions, but more research was needed. At the WA Labor state conference in July, Opposition Leader Mark McGowan spoke about the benefits of medical cannabis for the chronically ill or dying, but stressed he was against the recreational use of marijuana.