Cannabis requests illegal

Doctors are being asked not to sign medical certificates supporting the use of marijuana to relieve chronic pain.

Their regulatory body, the Medical Council of New Zealand, says it has received two complaints in the past year over the issue.

In its latest newsletter it says in both cases the doctor was asked by a patient to write in support of the continued use of marijuana for the relief of chronic pain, and they did so.

The council was not prepared to say where the complainants or the doctors were from or what action had been taken with the doctors concerned.

Chairman Dr John Adams said the council took the view that "certificates of this type do not meet minimum standards of professionalism".

"If asked for such a certificate, we suggest that doctors decline the request."

The newsletter pointed out marijuana was a class C drug and penalty for possession was three months jail and/or a $500 fine.

The writer of the news item, the council's medical adviser, Dr Steven Lillis, said the ethical arguments and debates over the decriminalisation of marijuana were irrelevant to its current status as an illegal drug.

A medical certificate supporting its use was "condoning and abetting someone to do something that is illegal".




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