Newsbrief: Australian State to Do Medical Marijuana Trials 5/23/03

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The Australian state of New South Wales will begin a four-year trial program allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal reasons, NSW Premier Bob Carr announced Tuesday. Carr told parliament the move was aimed at alleviating the suffering of people in severe pain.

"This is a compassionate scheme," the premier said. "It's directed at people like the 62-year-old man with bowel cancer who uses cannabis to relieve pain and to beat the nausea that stops him from eating. Medical evidence supported the proposition that in a number of these cases marijuana can relieve the symptoms of suffering, and we have an obligation wherever we can to minimize human pain and human distress," Carr said.

The premier added that legislation with strict safeguards and penalties would be introduced in the spring session of parliament. Under the Carr plan, patients would have to win approval through a new Office of Medical Cannabis within the NSW Health Department. "Patients must be able to show that conventional treatment will not relieve their suffering, Carr said.

"We're talking about people suffering wasting due to cancer and HIV/AIDS, nausea from chemotherapy, severe or chronic pain, muscle spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis and spinal cord injuries."

People convicted of an illicit drug offense (except a minor personal use offense), on parole, under 18 years of age or pregnant will not be able to register as a user, he said.

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Issue #288, 5/23/03 Editorial: Outrage at Outrages | No Marijuana Possession Law in Ontario, Court Rules -- Cops Vow to Keep Arresting Users Anyway | Hip Hop Nation Set to Rock the Rockefeller Laws -- Mass Protest Set for June 4 if Laws Not Repealed | GOP Effort to Let Drug Czar Propagandize Against Reform Stalled in House Committee | Drug Testing Has No Impact on Student Drug Use, Study Finds | Stop the Murder of Thai Drug Users -- International Day of Action, June 12 | CNN Special Report on "Killing Pablo" | Newsbrief: Rosenthal Loses Motion for New Trial, Sentencing Date Looms | Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana -- Yes in Maryland, No in Connecticut | Newsbrief: "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act" Reintroduced | Newsbrief: "Smoke a Joint, Lose Your Student Loan" Bill Introduced in Wisconsin | Newsbrief: House Committee Takes Slap at Needle Exchange | Newsbrief: Garcia Marquez Says Legalize Drugs to End Colombian Violence | Newsbrief: Scotland Yard Chief Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: British Government to Issue Guidelines for Heroin Prescriptions, Pilot Programs Coming Soon | Newsbrief: Australian State to Do Medical Marijuana Trials | Newsbrief: "Indian Hemp" Farmers Shoot It Out With Nigerian Narcs | Media Scan: Cockburn on Rosenthal, Forbes on Buying Initiatives, CNN on Bad Drug Raid | The Reformer's Calendar
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