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NSW will be the latest state to start clinical trials on medical marijuana, with the NSW government today committing to undertaking trials of cannabis-based medicines. The first to benefit under the testing will be children with a severe, drug-resistant epilepsy, known as Dravet’s Syndrome. Dravet’s Syndrome is a disease which affects 1 in 40,000 children, and to this date has no effective treatments. The drug Epidiolex – which proved successful in clinical trials in America, reducing the symptoms of Dravets syndrome by 50% – is a cannabis-based medicine which will be administered in a Sydney trial commencing in 2016.

The move comes following widespread support from Australians for the use of medical Marijuana to treat serious medical conditions. A poll released yesterday  by Roy Morgan Research showed that out of the 644 Australians surveyed, only 7% opposed the use of the drug for medical use. Only one third of those surveyed agreed with the legalising of smoking marijuana however. The NSW government’s clinical trials will focus on increasing the quality of life of those with terminal illness and when standard treatments have proven ineffective.


Luke Karakas

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