Parliament has had its first debate on the legalisation of dagga for medicinal purposes and the impact of cancer on society, with calls to legalise the drug with ‘stringent’ controls, reports [s]The Times[/s]. This follows an earlier plea by cancer sufferer and [b]MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini[/b] to [b]President Jacob Zuma[/b] to decriminalise the drug. Oriani-Ambrosini also called for a range of ‘alternative therapies’ to be legalised: ‘There are other treatments like mistletoe injections, ozone therapy, bicarbonate of sodium … cannabis oil… hypothermic therapy…’.
There was widespread agreement among the parliamentarians that further controlled research was needed:
IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini[/b]: ‘We cannot have… a health response which is based exclusively on the trinity of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.’
ANC MP and medical doctor Bevan Goqwana[/b]: ‘Is it safe to be used by the people? I think that is the important question that needs to be answered.’
UDM MP Stanley Ntapane[/b] said the drug could be legalised ‘with very stringent controls’.
DA MP Sandy Kalyan[/b]: ‘Instead of emphasising the side-effects and the abuse of cannabis, we should be engaging on the beneficial effects of medical marijuana.’
Freedom Front Plus MP[/b] Pieter Groenewald said his party was not opposed to ‘strictly controlled’ research.
ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley[/b]: ‘We are mindful that presently morphin- is toxic and lethal as it actively speeds up the death of the patients’.