Until recently, CBD was a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, based on British legislation, but now the newly-dubbed ‘wonder drug’ is available direct from your doctor, with a prescription
Unfortunately, the new move doesn’t go nearly far enough, but it’s a start. As Rose Renton told reporters, regarding her son Alex, who was the first New Zealander to be given an exemption to use medical cannabis, the new move is, “Totally symbolic. The only CBD that New Zealand doctors are able to prescribe is imported CBD that is hugely overpriced. The New Zealand public are being told one thing but they are not being given any affordable access to it.”
Alex, who suffered from severe epilepsy, passed away just a month after getting approval for medical cannabis, prompting the government in New Zealand to change the law to allow doctors to prescribe CBD directly.
Sue Grey, a medical cannabis advocate, said that lifting the restriction on CBD is unlikely to offer patients any real change to their treatment options, but is at least a step in the right direction, “It’s the government recognizing that there are benefits to cannabinoids, whereas in the past they’ve said we need more research, so symbolically it’s great,” she said.
Grey explained that the current amendment still doesn’t allow patients to import their own CBD products, “In theory they’re allowed now in New Zealand but in practice it’s still really unclear what products are actually going to get into the country because of all the importing restrictions,” she added.
With patients becoming addicted to opioid medications at an increasingly alarming rate, the new move will hopefully prompt legislators to move to make medical cannabis more readily available, and affordable for people in need.
Roughly 175,000 New Zealanders use medical cannabis and this new move to ease up restrictions on CBD imports is seen as a good thing generally. What will happen next is anyone’s guess.[Image credit- Pixabay]