Nurses and midwives back use of medical marijuana

NURSES and midwives across the state are backing the medicinal use of cannabis for terminally ill patients.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) Council announced this week it was supporting the recommendations of a NSW Upper House standing committee and a petition to decriminalise the drug for medical use.

The pro-cannabis stance started when retired nurse Lucy Haslam approached the union seeking support for a petition she had launched on behalf of her 24-year-old son, Daniel Haslam, who suffers from terminal bowel cancer.

The family has been campaigning for the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis, which Mr Haslam uses to assist with the side-effects of chemotherapy treatment.

Medicinal cannabis is used to treat a range of symptoms such as nausea, pain and lack of appetite for illnesses like Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and post traumatic stress disorders.

The medicinal use of cannabis is legal throughout the United States, Canada and several European countries.

In May last year, a parliamentary committee recommended the NSW Government amend legislation to allow the medical use of cannabis by patients with terminal illness or AIDS.

The recommendation was for the government to allow patients with medical consent to possess and use up to 15 grams of dry cannabis.

Brett Holmes, NSWNMA general secretary, said the council had agreed to the resolutions after a thorough review of the five committee report recommendations and international research into medicinal cannabis.

"At our meeting on 3 June, the NSWNMA Council endorsed a resolution to support the implementation of the standing committee's recommendations and also to support the Haslam family's petition to decriminalise the medical use of cannabis," Mr Holmes said.


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