Tasmanian government planting the seed in a medical marijuana trial 8



Written by Katy Rohl
After the original rejection of the medical marijuana trials in July of this year, Tasmanian politicians have now changed their stance on the subject and consideration of a medical marijuana trial is in the works. Many things must be considered by the government before legalization will either be accepted or rejected including the effect that the growth of the marijuana plant will have on Tasmania’s already existing poppy growing industry.

Within Tasmania there are 1000 farmers contracted to grow the poppies that are used in the production of the pain relieving drugs, morphine, codeine and thebaine. According to the Tasmanian government about half of the worlds supply of medicinal opiate is harvested in Tasmania. When the proposal was originally propositioned to agriculture minister Jeremy Rockliff he rejected it on the grounds of the potential damage that it would cause to the already successful Poppy growing industry.

However, his father Rick Rockliff who works as a poppy grower and field operations manager chose an apposing view to his son. “I personally don’t see it as a threat at all” voiced Rick Rockliff, “We’ve got strict regulatory requirements around our poppy industry and I guess it would be easy to slip something in to place alongside that.” The Tasmanian government shares a similar view to Rick Rockliff’s stance and reported that years of experience in the production of opiates has enabled them to perfect their security measures in ensuring that no raw materials have been released into the illicit drug market. With this assurance, the current interest in the legalization of medical marijuana could potentially be achieved without drawbacks within Tasmania.

With the effect that the production of medical marijuana will have on the poppy production industry put aside, the question of what effect medical marijuana will have on the state is of upmost importance. A report conducted by the drug strategy branch within the Australian Governments Department of Health and Aging suggests that the strength of the marijuana is dependent on how the plant is grown, prepared and eventually used. This notion implies that regulations would be able to be placed by the Tasmanian government on the strength of the drug administered to patients. However, the same report also describes that most users of other illicit drugs were originally users of marijuana.

While this development is just the beginning of the prospect of growing medicinal marijuana in Tasmania, legalizing the pain-relieving drug is still in the very early stages. Tasmanian government now needs to begin not only investigating the economical aspect but also the effect that implementing another crop could have on the already established stability of the poppy crops. The ultimate question that has fallen in to the laps of both the Tasmanian government and the public alike is whether introducing medical marijuana to their state is the right decision.


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8 thoughts on “Tasmanian government planting the seed in a medical marijuana trial

  • Andrew

    I don't think this is a vegan issue. Surprised to see it pop up on a vegan site. Marijuana may have its uses medicinally but it also does a hell of a lot of damage when used the wrong way or by certain people. I know three people very close to me who have suffered badly from its use so I would not rate this 'medicine' as any more safe than any other modern medicine.

  • Vegan Tasmania

    Thanks for your response Andrew. It's a plant so whatever its effect on people as a drug it's a million times better than all the man made chemical alternatives. I know a lot of people who would hugely benefit from this being made legal. Obviously some people have bad side effects just like using any drug but the benefits to some far outweigh it causing negative effects in just a few. Besides if it doesn't agree with you just stop taking it. It's not addictive like other drugs.
    It also appears here because I believe by legalising it medicinally we're one step closer to letting hemp foods come in and using hemp in place of cotton etc. It's so so much more environmentally friendly.

  • Andrew

    As I said 3 people close to me, and not many people I know actually use it. I don't believe for a second that negative effects occur in 'just a few'. Nor has my experience with the people I know who use it made me believe that it isn't addictive. Daily use, need growing with time and wasting their lives away on it. They are not isolated, they are common.
    I don't have a problem with its other uses but as a drug definitely not. Just because it is 'natural' doesn't mean it's safe to use.

  • Vegan Tasmania

    If it were legal though people would be given correct dosages by their doctors and only told to use it if it was thought to be helpful. Paracetamol can be harmful too but pain medication should be used sparingly and appropriately. Pretty much any drug in the world even paracetamol which we can get without a prescription can cause death. Marijuana has never killed anyone, therefore it's a much, much safer and healthier alternative. No drug is perfect but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. People who take it for recreational use will continue to do so whether it's made legal or not. The effects on this little girl may help convince you: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/video/329610819582/Medical-Marijuana-Legalisation-The-Feed

  • Andrew

    http://www.medic8.com/healthguide/marijuana/marijuana-facts-and-fiction.html
    http://www.thoughtful-living.org/recent-posts/
    To be fair I'm coming from a viewpoint of not supporting any drug industry, legal or illegal. From my point of view they are all dangerous. And the medical profession certainly doesn't mind that their drugs have more side effects than actual helpful effects and it will be no different if they add marjuana to their lot. And I really don't like seeing throwaway comments like 'it's not addictive' and 'it's never killed anyone' when I know both to be wrong.
    Alcohol is the highest substance abuse cause of road fatalities in Australia, no surprise there, but:
    "Cannabis (marijuana) is the second most common drug (found in about 15% of fatalities in Victoria)".
    This is not a safe drug, and it should never be advertised as such. Above quote from here:
    http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/31/2/33/5
    I agree it's no worse than any other drugs and they can go ahead and legalise it for medicinal use but nobody should pretend it's safe.

  • Vegan Tasmania

    Sure I didn't really mean "accident" type cases of death though I was speaking strictly overdose. Meaning it's safer for the taker. So you don't take any drugs at all ever? While I minimise drug use as much as I can within reason, I do need to take certain pain relievers every now and then and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. They do help. I certainly agree that the drug companies and drug industry is an absolutely abhorrent place full of corruption and greed and by legalising this is will undoubtedly go down that same road unfortunately but I believe in many cases it's for the better. Plus as I mentioned previously a lot of why this info is on the site is because of my desire to get hemp products legal for consumption in Tasmania, and I believe this is a step in the right direction.

  • Andrew

    No I avoid drugs completely. And while I accept that some are needed I think many if not most are not and the first step to wellness should be a high raw vegan diet which of course will not be offered as 'treatment' alongside any medication.
    I'd be much keener to get behind any push for hemp products other than those that are ingested.