Australian Medical Cannabis Alliance

United in Compassion and the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Alliance (AMCA)

Joint Position Statement

  1. Considers that the legislation/ regulation concerning medicinal cannabis access should be based on what is best for patients as a medical consideration rather than a political consideration.
  2. Recognises human rights and medical necessity as a valid argument for greater accessibility of medicinal cannabis.
  3. Is deeply concerned regarding the public health risks caused by the shortcomings of the current Australian system, which forces genuine patients to the illicit market by imposing unnecessary restrictions on patient access.
  4. Recognises the urgent need to approach medicinal cannabis access as a health issue, and not a criminal justice issue, and hence to decriminalise the valid use of cannabinoids for medical purposes.
  5. Recognises that medical use of cannabis can be part of a potential solution to the opioid and benzodiazepine crisis in Australia, as is being demonstrated in other parts of the world.
  6. Recognises the position of the WHO regarding the benefits and de scheduling of CBD.
  7. Recognises the established science, and rapidly expanding knowledge involving the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the need for educational institutions and medical colleges to expedite the addition of the ECS to appropriate medical curriculum.
  8. Recognises the harm done to the mental health of patients and carers who are forced into criminality to meet their health needs. This includes, but is not limited to, returned military veterans with PTSD, and the parents of children with intractable epilepsy.
  9. Recognises the need for compassion and the building of evidence as both being valid arguments for access to medicinal cannabis, sooner rather than later.
  10. Recognises that the Government needs to acknowledge that ignoring patients using the illicit market for their medical condition is not optimising the health outcomes of patients.
  11. Condemns attempts by Health Departments to interfere in the patient and healthcare practitioner clinical decision-making process.
  12. Calls for a National approach and for Medicinal Cannabis to be allocated to COAG Discussions as a matter of urgency. Australian patients need consensus between the states.
  13. Calls for provisions to allow driving for patients using medically prescribed cannabis when there is no evidence of impairment.
  14. Believes that cannabis should not always be considered as a medicine of ‘last resort’ during the process of risk assessment, and that in some circumstances, it could be higher in the treatment hierarchy. Such treatment should be patient-centric and based on clinical indication.
  15. Calls on the Government to update its ‘Guidances’ on medicinal cannabis, based on all available evidence reflecting best practice globally.
  16. Acknowledges the primacy of the patient and healthcare practitioner in the clinical decision-making process, and believe the role of Health Departments should be to support this.
  17. Recognise the benefits of whole plant cannabis extracts and the entourage effect. The group recommends these, where medically appropriate, and produced to a suitable standard, over the more expensive and less effective isolates and synthetics.
  18. Recognises the utility of personalised and preventative medicine as a compassionate and cost-effective means of meeting the needs of patients which minimises risks associated with the illicit market. Evidence should include that generated by the use of n=1 trials, which is ideally suited to this type of research.
  19. Believes that, in the interests of better patient care, doctors be allowed to inform the general public that their practice supports the use of medicinal cannabis for appropriate patients. (i.e. that a register of prescribers be made available to patients, to expedite care).
  20. Calls for the findings of the Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee Report on the Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2014 be implemented.
  21. Believes that medicinal cannabis should be prescribed by appropriately qualified healthcare professionals.

AMCA Members

Dr Teresa Towpik GP

Dr Brad McKay GP

Dr David Caldicott

Dr Teresa Nicolletti

Emeritus Prof Laurie Mather

Dr Alex Wodak

Ms Carol Ireland

A/Prof Kylie O’Brien PhD

Prof Ian Brighthope

Prof Simon Eckermann

Mrs Elizabeth Carrigan

Mr Greg Barns

Anna Talbot


Mr Michael Balderstone