Epilepsy drug made from marijuana approved by US health regulators

Photo: The drug is a purified form of a chemical ingredient found in the cannabis plant. (ABC News: Jerry Rickard) US health regulators have approved the first prescription drug made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing legalisation for recreational and medical use. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication, called Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy that begin in childhood. But it is not quite medical marijuana. The strawberry-flavoured syrup is a purified form of a chemical ingredient found in the cannabis plant — but not the one that gets users high. It is not yet clear

Medical cannabis given to Perth flu jab victim Saba Button

Saba Button is one of the first West Australians to be prescribed cannabis. SABA Button, the Perth girl left severely disabled as a baby by a faulty flu vaccine, has become one of the first West Australians to be prescribed medical cannabis. Her mother Kirsten said the nine-year-old started taking the prescription medicine this week and early signs were encouraging. Mrs Button said that it had been relatively straightforward getting a doctor to prescribe it because Saba’s neurologist had been treating her since she was a baby. Medical cannabis was recently approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Saba suffered extensive brain and organ damage after she had the Fluvax shot in 2010 w

MP’s dope jokes a downer for diners

Health Minister Brad Hazzard. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard joked at a boardroom lunch last week that increasing access to medicinal cannabis would be a great thing, saying “it would be great if we could all punch a few cones” and telling one questioner it looked like he “needed a cone”. The comments, at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch, came with Mr Hazzard unusually bringing along a top NSW Health bureaucrat, Kerry Chant, to the function, and then telling guests Ms Chant could answer questions while he ate his dessert. Mr Hazzard declined to comment yesterday on his actions. One guest at the function said that Mr Hazzard’s comments concerning smoking “cones” came after a qu

Stephen Taylor of Winmalee pleads guilty in Penrith Local Court

A Winmalee dad facing police charges after juicing home grown cannabis to treat his seriously ill daughters has changed his plea to guilty in Penrith Local Court. Stephen Taylor, 64, was charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and two counts of possessing a prohibited drug, after police removed 107 cannabis plants from his rented home on December 8 last year. On March 23, he announced an intention to plead not guilty “on the grounds of medical necessity” but he reversed those pleas on June 12. Police have now removed a charge of possessing a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. One of Australia’s leading barristers, the former chair of the Australian Republic

Father defends Victorian medicinal cannabis program as kids drop out

Photo: Jordon Kotarac with his daughter Juliette, whose seizures were not halted by medicinal cannabis treatment. (Supplied: Jordan Kotarac) The father of a five-year-old girl who suffers from severe seizures says he supports the Victorian Government's medicinal cannabis program, even though it did not stop his daughter's fits. It was revealed this week that 13 out of 34 children have left the Government's subsidised medicinal cannabis program since it began in March last year. The Opposition's health spokesperson, Mary Wooldridge, said the drop-outs are proof the policy — which the Government says costs around $35,000 per child — has not delivered good value for Victorian taxpayers. Geelo

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