Well frankly I’m not surprised at the Ministry’s response, though I am still confused about their reasons. A couple of years ago I attended a health select committee hearing regarding medicinal cannabis, on behalf of an excellent submission by William Rae, in my capacity as a cannabis researcher.
Prior to attending this committee hearing I contacted the relevant official in the Ministry and spent some time discussing Mr Rae’s submission and the approach I would be taking on his behalf. At that time I felt there was a sense of mutual agreement about how meeting might proceed, i.e. in the context of a positive and rational approach to this issue.
Upon attending the hearing and sitting next to the official I’d spent an hour discussing matters with, I was amazed at the Ministry’s opposition to almost everything we had discussed and to the official’s complete ignoring even of my presence.
I was left with the sense that the Ministry has a particular view of medicinal cannabis, which is most likely mediated by officials’ understandings of how the current government would not welcome any advice that would run contrary to their stated position: pretty much what former minister SimonPower said. This leaves me feeling terribly sad for people in the position of Ms Kelly, and more than a little angry. The Ministry’s approach is, in my view, an abuse of power, and the more strongly they are called on it the better.
FYI regarding Sativex, IMHO it is potentially unsuitable for some pain relief issues and also nausea, as it is relatively slow acting. This has been noted in the UK, where a GP supported his patient to import raw cannabis instead. See: