Tuesday, April 15, 2003

CWA wants pot legalised

PERCEIVED as the height of conservatism, the Country Women's Association has had a reputation for baking and handicrafts until now. The organisation yesterday confirmed it is seeking to have cannabis legalised for health reasons. A recommendation to be put forward to the annual meeting in May calls for the legalisation of the drug for the treatment of terminally ill patients.

The CWA, keen to reinvent itself and become more attractive to new members, is seeking to change its identity. This year saw the first appointment of a man as its head, with Colin Coakley appointed as general secretary.

While the CWA has long been seen as conservative, Mr Coakley said the perception was incorrect, with the organisation advocating heroin use for the same reason in the past. "This will go to the conference and if accepted will become policy," he said. "It's specific, this isn't a statement on cannabis generally, but for medicinal purposes only.

What they are looking at is cases where it can assist people that are terminally ill." A long-standing relationship with cancer sufferers has led to the proposal, with money raised from craft sales going to related charities and organisations.

Hemp advocate Phil Warner said the plant was severely underutilised in Australia, because of the negative connotations associated with the drug.

Managing Director of Ecofibre, he said the company was about to begin exporting hemp based ice cream and muesli, which is legal in most western countries and made from plants which do not contain drug properties.

There were enormous benefits for cannabis use in the medicinal arena, he said, and in the United Kingdom scientists have perfected a technique to use cannabis as a pain killer, without the euphoric effects. The Australian company has begun work in conjunction with Southern Cross University mapping the DNA of the plant.

A State Government report into cannabis use for medicinal purposes called for greater trials of the drug before it was approved. A spokesman for Premier Bob Carr yesterday said the State Government would address the use of cannabis as a health drug in the next three months, following the developments in the UK and the report.

The NSW Council of churches rejected increased use of the drug under the report's recommendations, fearful it would lead to wider community acceptance. However, nothing was said in relation to the overburdening alcohol problem that kills up to 4000 people a year legally. Actual deaths recorded from 1989-99 4,286 from alcohol.

Ray Roach President of Where Old Enough to Vote said, "Enough was known about cannabis effects on people, with fears it could lead to schizophrenia in one percent of the population.

Those people who are allergic to it have to choose herbs that agree with them like parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme when they're dieing of cancer."

He said. "Enough is known about alcohol, which leads to madness causing 4000 deaths a year.

Alcohol is a man made drug that pickles your brain. So now its time to see what it is about herb's that are so inviting. Perhaps its because God put them there and the fact that its not man made? Medicinal purposes of course. Isn't that why we take herbs?"

By Dr Herb Bud 15 April 03

KOALA BEAR: It's really all about variety. Just think of yourself as a tree climber getting rained on and perhaps with the wind blowing through your fur. From extreme to extreme slowly breaking down as you get older. Now suck a gum leave because of its remedy. Instead of getting uptight about life, just lay on a branch and go to sleep. See the problem is fixed.


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