Find out about medicinal cannabis

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
An information session about medicinal cannabis will be in Bunbury on Saturday.
Camera IconAn information session about medicinal cannabis will be in Bunbury on Saturday. Credit: Getty Images

Bunbury residents can learn about the benefits and ways of accessing medicinal cannabis during an information session this Saturday.

Medical Cannabis Research Australia will give a TED Talk-style presentation covering how medicinal cannabis works, who is eligible and how to access the drug option.

Research group co-founder and managing director Sharlene Mavor was once a sceptic, but discovered the benefits of medicinal cannabis during research trips in the US and Canada.

Now her not-for-profit organisation advocates for easier access to the treatment option for people suffering from chronic pain, drug-resistant epilepsy, palliative care patients and chemotherapy-induced nausea.

“There’s a lot of red tape in WA. Doctors have to apply for approval to prescribe at a Federal level as well as a State level,” she said.

“Doctors also need to prove they’ve tried every other available treatment and that they have had adverse effects on their patient. Without that they can’t apply.”

She said the process at a State level could take weeks to process.

“It’s not acceptable if it’s a palliative care patient, or epilepsy where people can die waiting for medication.

“GPs can’t prescribe without a specialist’s endorsement so that also means a patient has to have seen a specialist. That’s another huge impediment.”

Being so new, she said many GPs were uneducated about medicinal cannabis.

The drug is also not subsidised under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, making it an expensive option for patients.

“We’d like to see some sort of subsidy in place ... also the removal of necessity for State health approval.”

The presentation will be at the Mercure Bunbury Sanctuary Golf Resort at 1pm this Saturday.

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