Canada and eight US states have done it. Why can’t NSW legalise cannabis?

SMH, 24 April 2017
Author: Mehreen Faruqi
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that will legalise and regulate cannabis use in Canada. This would make Canada the second country the world (after Uruguay) to legalise adult use of cannabis. This comes off the heels of some ground-breaking reforms that took place in November last year when California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all voted to legalise and regulate cannabis use, joining Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. One in five Americans now live in a state where adult use of cannabis is legal or is in the process of being made legal. So why has the debate barely even begun in Australia?”
Find article here.

West Virginia Becomes 29th US State To OK Medical Marijuana

TechTimes, 20 April 2017
Author: Kalyan Kumar
“Marking a liberal approach by creating a bigger role in treating the terminally ill, West Virginia on Wednesday joined the club of states that legalized medical marijuana.
The new law will make medical marijuana available for certain medical conditions under strict state controls. It will also allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for patients suffering from seizures, cancer, chronic pain, stress disorder, AIDS and other problems.”
Find article here.

Argentina lawmakers approve cannabis oil for medicinal use

Reuters, 29 March 2017
Authors: Maximiliano Rizzi, Hugh Bronstein, Peter Cooney
“Argentina gave final legislative approval on Wednesday to a bill legalizing cannabis oil for medicinal use and permitting the federal government to grow marijuana for research and therapeutic purposes. Chile and Colombia have adopted similar laws and neighboring Uruguay has gone as far as to legalize smoking marijuana, seeking to wrest the business from criminals in the small South American nation.”
Find article here.

Naturopathic Doctors Look Bad After California Woman Dies From Turmeric Injection

Forbes, 27 March 2017
Author: Britt Marie Hermes
“A San Diego woman recently died of cardiopulmonary arrest after receiving an intravenous injection of turmeric. Reliable evidence for using turmeric for any medical condition is scanty at best. There have been preliminary studies on intravenous turmeric in combination with conventional chemotherapy, but no firm conclusions can be drawn. In other words, intravenous turmeric poses unnecessary risks. This is likely the result of naturopathic education blurring the line between treatments backed by good evidence and practices using “natural” substances that turn profits.”
Find article here.

NG v Chinese Medicine Board of Australia [2017] NSWCATOD 36

Decision date: 15 March 2017
“PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – Where health practitioner has appealed against conditions placed on her registration – where the Chinese Medical Board concedes an error in imposing conditions and has caused removal of conditions from the Register maintained by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency –
Whether appeal is frivolous or vexatious or misconceived or lacking in substance – Consideration of objects of Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW) and of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law – whether dismissal of appeal would deny appellant procedural fairness. Where continuation of appeal will not result in a practical outcome.”
Find case here.

Swisse cheese: there are too many holes in complementary medicine regulations already

The Conversation, 22 March 2017
Author: Michael Vagg
“Swisse is by no means the only vitamin company to have issues with truth in advertising. Blackmores is another Australian brand with overseas ambitions. They are pushing into the enormous Chinese supplement market, and apparently not letting trivial things like fines for false advertising get in the way of a surging share price. The essential problem here for manufacturers is that they simply have to mislead to sell their product, and our therapeutic claims regulatory code inconveniently forbids this.”
Find article here.

Strong regulation is healthy for complementary medicines

SMH, 21 March 2017
Author: Editorial
“The vitamin and supplement giant Swisse has asked to be liberated from federal government oversight of its advertising claims. When promoting its products, it wants to be spared the scrutiny of the Therapeutic Goods Administration and be subject instead to an industry-funded self-regulation system administered by the Advertising Standards Bureau.”
Find article here.

First licence granted for commercially grown medicinal cannabis in Australia

Dept of Health, 8 March 2017
“Access to medicinal cannabis has taken another major step forward today with first licence being granted for an Australian company to grow and harvest medicinal cannabis. This major development will lead to improved access to domestically produced medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients.”
Find media release here.

How traditional medicine can play a key role in Latino health care

The Conversation, 5 March 2017
Author: Courtney Parker
“In the U.S., many undocumented individuals and other vulnerable groups in the Latino immigrant population, such as indigenous language speakers, are already marginalized from mainstream health services. Traditional or indigenous medicine, commonly referred to as TM, can bridge some of these barriers to health care because their methods stem from the unique values, cultural systems and specific health needs of these populations. In its latest report on traditional medicine, WHO acknowledges TM as a “mainstay of health and health care delivery.””
Find article here.

Recreational Cannabis — Minimizing the Health Risks from Legalization

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:705-707
Author: Beau Kilmer
“The cannabis-policy landscape is undergoing dramatic change. Although many jurisdictions have removed criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis and more than half of U.S. states allow physicians to recommend it to patients, legalizing the supply and possession of cannabis for nonmedical purposes is a very different public policy. Since the November 2016 election, 20% of the U.S. population lives in states that have passed ballot initiatives to allow companies to sell cannabis for any reason and adults 21 or older to purchase it. Although other states may move toward legalization, uncertainty abounds because of the federal prohibition on cannabis.”
Find article here.