Adelaide’s first medicinal marijuana clinic has officially opened its doors to the public, providing ‘alternative treatments’ to those suffering from chronic pain and mental health issues.
IvyMed Clinic at the Pasadena Shopping centre in Adelaide was opened for business by doctors Hsin-Pei Lin and Sheng-Wen Cheng this week.
‘We tailor therapies in an effort to alleviate symptoms and improve patient outcomes.’
He said that medical marijuana should only be recommended when patients haven’t been able to ‘find relief through other options’.
The two doctors have an extensive background in alternative medical treatment and are both part of the authorised prescriber scheme.
The scheme allows medical practitioners to supply products not included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods to patients with particular medical conditions.
Patients can be prescribed medical cannabis if they pass an eligibility test.
Doctor Sheng-Wen Cheng of Adelaide’s first medicinal marijuana clinic said that medicinal cannabis should only be recommended when patients haven’t been able to ‘find relief through other options’
Since 2016, certain laws have been passed to allow the prescribing and dispensing of medicinal cannabis products to Australians.
There are now 260,000 prescriptions in Australia since medicinal cannabis was legalised.
Many have resorted to medicinal cannabis for chronic pain and other health conditions.
Recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Australia.
But calls have loudened in recent years for cannabis to be legalised in Australia in a move that would follow Canada, a suite of European countries and 18 states in America, including Colorado, Washington D.C, New York and California.
A 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey revealed a significant minority – over 40 per cent of Australians – believe cannabis should be legalised for personal use.
That compared with 2013, when 25.5 per cent of citizens backed the move.
The number of people who said they had used cannabis at some point in their lives has seen an increase from 33.5 per cent in 2001 to 38.1 per cent in 2019.
But criminal lawyer and drug advocacy expert Jarryd Bartle claims a rise in public support doesn’t necessarily translate to big support gains when real legislation is put in motion.
‘Support for the legalisation of recreational cannabis has risen dramatically over the last few decades.
‘In 2007, only 21 per cent of Australians supported legalisation but in 2019 support jumped to 41% in the National Drug Household Survey.