Hold the medicinal cannabis for now!
With sufficient drugs on the medical formulary that treat to a wide variety of sicknesses and ailments, pharmacist Paul Gibson does not believe there is a need for medical cannabis to be introduced in Barbados just yet.
The Medicinal Cannabis Bill 2019, is before a Joint Select Committee for review.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Gibson, who is also the spokesperson on Health, Wellness and the Environment for the People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PDP), said there are better options on the market than medicinal cannabis.
“Right now in Barbados we have a functional medical formulary that covers most of the pathologies that exist,” he said, adding that there is nothing that medical cannabis would treat that could not be treated by another drug already available.
“As a matter of fact, medical cannabis is not the first line choice for therapy. We have other things such as antidepressants, we have anti-spasticity products [and] we have various products that can be used to treat a lot of the pathologies that are affecting people,” Gibson maintained.
“They are adding medical cannabis…and some of the things that we are currently using have been researched extensively, they have been used on millions of patients.”
While not totally discarding the possibility that medicinal cannabis could eventually be introduced in Barbados, he said now was not the time.
He called on Government and the relevant authorities to observe what was happening in the industry first before “jumping on the train”.
“The same way Barbados didn’t devalue because Trinidad devalued, or Guyana devalued or Jamaica devalued, and we observed what was happening in those jurisdictions, the reality is that I think the same approach should be taken to medicinal cannabis where our conservatism should be considered at this point,” Gibson said.
“We should observe, get the best practices from around the globe and then we do the implementation here, but there is no need to rush.”
However, during a recent interview with Barbados TODAY, nurse Michelle Marshall maintained there was research which proved medicinal cannabis could be used to specifically heal certain ailments.
She insisted there were numerous reliable studies done internationally detailing the medicinal strength of cannabis.
“Research from Israel would have suggested that little children who are having like ten to 15 seizures a day can have a reduction to no seizures per day. Persons with cerebral palsy who have spasticity, or those with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, there are just so many diseases including chronic non-communicable diseases that can be addressed by rectifying the endocannabinoid system,” Marshall had pointed out.