We welcome Government action on ‘Sativex’

SATIVEX PIC‘It’s good to see Government and Samantha Sacramento, the Minister for Drugs, responding positively and swiftly to a review on the question of drugs policy,’ a spokesperson for the ERG and ‘Stay Clean’ ‘Connected Health’ Campaign said today following the introduction of legal amendments to bring certainty to doctors’ prescription of ‘Sativex’, a form of medicinal cannabis which received approval in Britain in 2010. ‘The clarity was much needed and requested publicly recently by the GHA’s Director of Public Health Health, Dr. Kumar. A good number of people will now be able to access the relief they should always have had, and for whom the ‘Connected Health’ Campaign continues to work.

‘But let us be clear. while it may be convenient to use the product name ‘Sativex’ and thus avoid the reality that this product is nothing less than cannabis itself, containing dozens of chemicals which occur naturally in the plant, the name ‘Sativex’ can only fool some of the people some of the time. The accurate description for this medicine is, in actual fact, ‘cannabis’. It contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds which naturally occur in cannabis. The Sativex Summary of Product Characteristics even describes the ‘euphoric mood’ produced by the prescription drug as a ‘common’ side effect. In other words, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s what it is!

‘We can only welcome the fact that Gibraltar is beginning to listen to the real medical and scientific issues on this wider question of drugs in our Community. There’s a long way to go, though. There is increasing evidence that the medicinal effectiveness of cannabis goes far beyond its already-recognised application to Multiple Sclerosis. But we fully understand that politicians and the population at large need to tiptoe through the complex issues in order for us, as a community, to reach informed decisions rather than hold rash positions based on misinformation and emotion.

‘ERG and ‘Stay Clean’ have already committed to bringing top experts to give evidence to Government and provide the public on all sides of this controversial question with the opportunity to obtain accurate, up-to-date and expert-informed answers in order to enable us all to do what’s best for Gibraltar. For our part, we will continue to argue in favour of a proper process of scientific consultation and objective evidence as to the benefits of taking control away from the criminal suppliers of illicit substances and in favour of statutory Regulation,’ the statement ended.