Coast students support medicinal cannabis

University students are showing a positive attitude towards using cannabis for medical purposes as the Coast is conducting research and setting up for production.

After the Public Health Bill 2016 was passed earlier in October, more opportunities for medicinal cannabis is becoming a reality and the students of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) are happy.

University student Francisco Zaldívar de Alba said it was a good decision because cannabis has shown great medical applications.

“It is a great medicine for certain kinds of diseases like leukaemia,” he said.

“Also, cancer patients feel less pain because of cannabis.”

There are various projects focusing on medicinal cannabis under way on the Coast.

Medifarm, a Sunshine Coast company, is looking to start planting marijuana seeds on November 1 and begin to sell the product from March next year.

At the same time, USC’s Clinical Trials Centre is currently trialling a topical application of pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol (CBD), a component of cannabis to counter epilepsy.

A university student, who requested anonymity and who is an avid user of marijuana, said it was ”very interesting” that the university is taking these steps.

“It’s really nice nowadays, people are starting to wake up, people are starting to realise what wonders it can do,” he said.

He said he believed in organic medicines and was using cannabis to relieve anxiety and to control his ADHD.

“When I smoke weed I’m more in the present, if you can say it like that,” he said.

“I believe you can fix almost anything with good nutrition and natural medicine.

“When I was younger I abused it, but if you use it in moderation, I’m positive to it.

”CBD is the healing substance, so I’m excited to see the result of the research.”

The Clinical Trials Centre hope to tackle health challanges such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and mental health conditions, as well as produce employment opportunities for students and health professionals.

The clinic will advertise for volunteer participants when required.

Another student at USC, René Bracci, said he was ”for and against” the use of cannabis but it was good that people could use it for medical purposes.

“On one hand I know people that need it to become healthy again but on the other hand people are using it as a drug,” he said.

There will be restrictions in regards to who can access the medical cannabis.

Certain specialist doctors will be able to prescribe it without approval from the health department.

Specialists in medical oncology, neurology and palliative care medicine will likely be the first to provide approvals.

The people of the Sunshine Coast share the students’ positive attitude towards the new Bill.

The Sunshine Coast Daily surveyed their readers online and 98 per cent were supportive of the legislation of medical marijuana.

The student who requested anonymity said he was ”only a little bit” surprised by the result.

“It’s indeed a large majority, but I have always thought the people of Australia are very laid back and open-minded,” he said.

Photo by Michelle Grewe

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