27/02/2014 – ACDP does not and will not endorse recreational use of cannabis or any attempts to move in this direction

ACDP Parliament
Media Statement
Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and Whip


ACDP does not and will not endorse recreational use of cannabis or any attempts to move in this direction

  • Will consult widely re Medical Innovation Bill which provides for the legalisation of cannabis for medical use – specifically in terminal cases
  • Encourages people to make written submissions to the Secretary of Parliament

The ACDP is consulting widely on the recently proposed Medical Innovation Bill and will be considering whether or not we will be able to support the use of Cannabinoids as medical treatment or any other clauses in the proposal by Oriano Ambrosini – IFP MP and cancer patient.

This is not only a controversial issue – but a complex one – in Principle we support calls for clinical trials which would either prove or disprove claims being made regarding any potential treatment for cancer patients.  In this case claims are being made that the use of cannabis extracts are being used to successfully to treat cancer and other conditions.

The required clinical trials would apparently be as simple as – giving cannabis oil to 100 terminal cancer patients and documenting the results. Dr Raphael Mechoulam, the Israeli researcher who discovered tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – in 1964, has himself called for such clinical trials.

The use of what we are told, is an oil extract of the weed in a tablet form – would only become a possibility once clinical trials are done and have proved conclusively that the oil is effective for specific use to the satisfaction of the relevant medical councils with the authority to make such decisions.

The ACDP is mindful that presently morphine (a form of heroine) is used for pain control for terminally ill cancer patients – morphine is toxic and lethal as it actively speeds up the death of the patients.”

The ACDP does not and will not endorse recreational use of cannabis or any attempts to move in this direction.  While dagga is not as physically addictive as other drugs it causes severe emotional dependency and is known to kill brain cells.  Due to the fact that dagga takes away inhibitions some people experience a degree of creative energy for a limited time but more generally and in the long term dagga steals ambition and perseverance.

The ‘Medical Innovation Bill’ which MGR Oriani-Ambrosini MP intends introducing as a private members bill aims to make provision for the legalisation of cannabinoids for medical purposes and beneficial commercial and industrial uses.

The draft bill has been published in the Government Gazette of 18 February 2014 and interested parties and institutions are invited to submit written representations on the draft bill to the Secretary to Parliament within 40 days of the notice – either delivered to: The Secretary to Parliament, Old Assembly Building, Parliament Street, Cape Town or mailed to: The Secretary to Parliament, P.O Box 15 Cape Town 8000 Or emailed to mbcoetzee@parliament.gov.za and copied to oriani@iafrica.com

The ACDP’s position with regard to this Bill will be communicated in due course.  On Wednesday 12 March a debate has been scheduled in the National Assembly, on: The Impact of cancer on our society and economy and government response thereto.  This discussion is expected to include discussion on the proposed legislation as it is on the order paper under the name of Dr MG Oriani-Ambrosini.

-ENDS-

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