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Doctors back medical marijuana trial in Brisbane

A MEDICINAL marijuana trial aimed at treating children with severe drug-resistant epilepsy has received the backing of the Australian Medical Association Queensland.

A letter Health Minister Cameron Dick tabled in parliament revealed the clinical trial would likely be held at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane next year.

It comes only days after Toowoomba medicinal marijuana campaigner Rhonda Miles spoke to The Chronicle about her fight to get help for her epileptic son, Lachlan.

Anti-epileptic medication has been unable to control Lachlan's seizures.

AMAQ president Chris Zappala said the more patients involved in the trial, the better.

"There's definite scope to look at how medicinal marijuana might help patients," he said.

"The point we wanted to stress was that like all medications, tablets etc that are used for patients, there needs to be appropriate rigour, trial evidence and understanding around the best way to use them.

"We don't have that long-term data and we do know there are risks associated with marijuana.

"We need to remember it comes in many different forms and is open to abuse."

Dr Zappala warned against a petition submitted to parliament pushing for legislation to be amended to allow some people to cultivate, prescribe and use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

The petition also called for a State licensing system for commercial cultivators and producers of manufactured cannabis products for supply through dispensaries.

Dr Zappala said the more people growing the plant, the less control there was and less ability to gauge the effectiveness of cannabis.

He said medicinal cannabis would need to be prescribed and supervised like any other medication.

Although Dr Zappala supports the trials, he said a national approach would be better to ensure uniformity.



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