Public ‘lied’ to about weed
The New Zealand government should stop ‘‘lying’’ to its people over medicinal cannabis, a visiting doctor says.
United States physician Dr David Bearman, who specialises in medicinal cannabis effects and pain relief, said Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne needed some remedial education on cannabis.
‘‘And he needs to stop talking out of both sides of his mouth. I don’t see how on the one hand, he can say there’s no evidence that cannabis is medicine and then on the other hand approve Sativex, which is tincture of cannabis — it’s liquid cannabis.’’
However, Dunne said Bearman’s comments were inac- curate, ignorant, abusive and illinformed.
‘‘As such they are neither worth commenting upon further, nor taking in any way seriously.’’
Bearman said the people of New Zealand ‘‘need to understand that its government has been lying to them’’. ‘‘Much the same as the US government has lied to the Americans. But fortunately for us, since 1997 we have been able to get more physicians to understand cannabis and the endocannabinoid system and help millions of people with a broad spectrum of diseases.’’
Bearman was in Nelson on Saturday and Golden Bay on Monday with his talk, ‘‘Medicinal Use of Cannabis, What can New Zealand Learn?’’ Over 300 people in total attended the events in the Boathouse and Golden Bay Community Centre. He also made a presentation in Wellington and Christchurch, and at the Christchurch hospital’s grand rounds. The expert speaker and author has treated thousands of people with medicinal cannabis in California for a wide-range of conditions.
He has also made hundreds of presentations to professional and lay audiences on medical marijuana, drug abuse treatment and prevention, and the origins of American drug policy.
It was critical New Zealand medical practitioners were educated on the the body’s largest neurotransmitter system — the endocannabinoid system.
‘‘In the States, only 13 per cent of medical schools teach about the endocannabinoid system. I would like to see all the medical schools in New Zealand institute a course on it.‘‘
The endocannabinoid system was important in terms of homeostasis, regulating our bodies and keeping us healthy.
Cannabis has been used as a medicine for more than 4000 years.