Essential to regulate cannabis for both medicinal and medical use
THE CANNABIS court case, or so-called “trial of the plant” that started yesterday in the Pretoria High Court, is about the legalisation of cannabis (dagga). The use of the weed for medicinal purposes is, however, being misused across the world as the thin edge of the wedge to get it legalised.
In the World Drug Report of 2017, Executive Summary, Conclusion and Policy Implications, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime officially holds the same position that Doctors For Life International (DFL) has taken for the purposes of this court case: “Medical use of cannabis needs a scientific approach”.
Research has shown that, notwithstanding the usefulness of some cannabinoids in the management of specific medical conditions, their use, particularly in the botanical form of herbal cannabis with unknown content and dosage, can be detrimental to health.
To protect human health, it is therefore necessary that the principles of safety, quality and efficacy and the rigorous scientific testing and regulatory systems that apply to established medicines be applied also to cannabis-based medicines.
In light of the above mentioned rigorous principles for allowing dagga for medical use, we cannot see how South Africa can consider legalising dagga for recreational use.
DFL represents 1 500 medical doctors and specialists, three-quarters of whom practise in South Africa.
Since 1991, DFL has been actively promoting sound science in the medical profession and health care that is safe and efficient for all South Africans.