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Candidate working on legalising medicinal cannabis

LEGALISING medicinal cannabis will "supercharge" the economy and provide relief for chronic pain sufferers according to Hervey Bay Independent candidate Jannean Dean.

With policy influence from the Help End Marijuana Party (HEMP) and input from doctors, Ms Dean said legalising medicinal cannabis was something she had been "working on" for three years.

"It needs discussion, we need to take it out of the dark," she said.

Ms Dean said she had been in consultation with doctors and has formulated a policy for legalising the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

She said it could boost tourism with patients travelling from around the world to take advantage of the access to the legal drug.

Ms Dean didn't have a cost estimate for her policy, but said it was designed to start a discussion and dissolve the misinformation.

"Its been perceived as this big taboo and that's brainwashed a few people," she said.

She said it was safe and nobody had been "murdered on marijuana".

But Australian Medical Association Queensland President Dr Shaun Rudd said more research needed to be completed before an educated decision could be made.

"The AMA believes that further research needs to be done," he said.

He cited trials funded by the New South Wales State Government including $9 million toward research on the benefits for chemotherapy patients and terminally ill adults.

"That step has to be taken first before we legalise it," Dr Rudd said.

He expects more knowledge about the benefits and safety of medicinal cannabis use to be available "within a year or so".

"While Dr Rudd said some people thought medicinal cannabis could be used to treat any illness, most were after pain relief.

"I think that what people are really after is maybe helping treating with chronic pain, especially in people who are terminally ill or have incurable cancer," he said.

"We just have to be very careful that it is actually better than what we've already got and it's safe to use and that's the thing that research will show us."

At a COAG meeting in October last year involving of National, State and Territory Health Ministers, Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg supported a stance to and "reinforced their opposition to the recreational use of cannabis".

The Ministers noted a "significant body of evidence linking recreational use of cannabis to mental ill health".

Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen said cannabis remained a prohibited substance and there were "no plans by the State Government to change this".

"However, the Queensland Government supports interstate clinical trials to further evaluate the potential need for, and use of, medicines derived from cannabis," he said.

Fellow candidate for Hervey Bay, Labor's Tony Gubbins said he would await the outcome of the NSW trials and receive advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

MEDICINAL CANNABIS

AMA Queensland President Dr Shaun Rudd believes more research should be done

Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg reinforced his opposition to the drug

A push has been underway for many years to legalise medicinal cannabis to relieve chronic pain

Topics:  ama health jannean dean medicinal cannabis



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