(True Activist) All around the world, people are using cannabis to treat a variety of afflictions. From using cannabidiol (CBD) to cure cancer and alleviate seizures to smoking the flower to reduce depression and feelings of anxiety, it has been proven time and time again to be a medicine, not a drug. Fortunately, it seems New Zealand – a country of extraordinary beauty – is catching on.
On June 2, 2017, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced that doctors will no longer need the government’s approval to prescribe CBD oil to patients – the non-psychoactive component of the marijuana plant. Dunne said that restrictions on its use would be removed. Until now, the herb has been classed as a controlled drug – similar to the U.S., where it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug.
“I have taken advice from the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs (EACD) that CBD should not be a controlled drug and am pleased Cabinet has now accepted my recommendation to make this change,” said Dunne. “Therefore, I am now taking steps to remove restrictions accordingly.”
“In practical terms, the changes mean CBD would be able to be prescribed by a doctor to their patient and supplied in a manner similar to any other prescription medicine,” he added.
Doctors will be able to prescribe up to three months’ supply of CBD to qualified patients. Understandably, this is being lauded as a big win for marijuana activists who desire to see the herb decriminalized worldwide, as it has killed 0 people and it is impossible to overdose on.
One main challenge to this new development is importing medical marijuana, as there is a limited range of medical-grade CBD products in New Zealand. Additionally, strict limits exist preventing countries from importing and exporting concentrates or the flower.
“However, we do know of at least one CBD product in development made to high manufacturing standards that will contain two per cent or less of the other cannabinoids found in cannabis,” Dunne said.
As the NZ Herald reports, CBD was first allowed to be used in New Zealand when Dunne gave approval for teenager Alex Renton to use it in his last months of life. At the time, NZ Drug Foundation director Ross Bell applauded the decision.
”It represents another positive move forward to remove some of the barriers that patients are faced with in accessing medical cannabis products,” said Bell.