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Calls for less red tape on medicinal cannabis

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Calls for less red tape on medicinal cannabis

The use of medicinal cannabis is on the rise across Australia, but some WA Doctors say they still need to jump through hoops to be able to prescribe it.

In November last year the State Government made changes to allow WA GP’s to prescribe medicinal cannabis without the need for referral to a specialist.

Director of St Francis Medical group David Cooper told 6PR Mornings Doctors are still hitting road blocks when seeking approval for specific drugs.

“We are experiencing some pinch points, or barriers within the WA Health, delays in responses, and that is affecting our ability to treat some of our patients,” he said.

“The doctors have to apply to state health if the treatment is a schedule eight or a controlled drug treatment.

“There is a lot of medications that are schedule eight, which means they are potentially a drug of addiction or they are essentially a controlled drug.”

He told Gary Adshead some patients are waiting up to six weeks to access prescriptions.

“The state health process is too heavy handed,” he said.

“A lot of West Australians are having to venture to the East coast to access their medicinal cannabis, and yet there is clinics like ours in Subiaco ready and willing to provide legitimate and accessible supply.

“If our doctors want to provide THC every one of those prescriptions needs to go through WA Health.”

He is calling for changes to WA’s policy to reduce the amount of backyard pharmacists selling medicinal cannabis on the black market.

“If we can expedite supply and get our policy right , I think we can reduce risk to public health,” Mr Cooper said.

“I think the policy is out of step, certainly out of step with WA sentiment and the rest of the country.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Liam Bartlett