The Uniting Church, Synod of Western Australia yesterday agreed to support the changing of Western Australian law so that doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis to be administered under supervision.

The proposal was brought by the Synod of Western Australia’s Social Justice Board and asks that the Western Australian Parliament, in conjunction with the National Drug Research Institute, explore options for the appropriate availability of medical cannabis.

Uniting Church Western Australia, Acting General Secretary, Rosemary Hudson Miller noted that the success of the use of medicinal cannabis was evidence-based.

“More than 20 American states, as well as many countries, including Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland, allow the medical use of cannabis,” said Rosemary.

“This was also an emotional conversation, as some members of the meeting shared their personal experiences of the inadequacy of the current practice of using morphine for pain management, and the side effects of nausea and vomiting, for sufferers of chronic or terminal illness. The current laws mean that family and friends choose, at some personal risk, to provide cannabis to relieve symptoms and pain, rather than watch the agony of suffering.”

Medicinal cannabis has a higher proportion of the cannabidiol CBD and a lower proportion of the intoxicating THC, thereby minimising the risks of becoming dependent on medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis is considered acceptably safe, with side effects that are uncommon, generally mild, and outweighed by major benefits.

Uniting Church members from around Western Australia have come together this weekend, Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 September, to discuss issues of importance in the life of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Western Australia, and the wider community at the 38th annual Synod and the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Presbytery of Western Australia.

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