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Cannabis trial to help epileptic Qld kids

The Australian Medical Association has warned medicinal cannabis must be subject to stringent safety tests before being offered to the public.

The warning from AMA Queensland president Chris Zappala comes as Health Minister Cameron Dick indicated the state's first trial of medicinal cannabis is set to go ahead next year.

Severely epileptic children are the likely beneficiaries of the trial at Brisbane's new children's hospital.

Mr Dick tabled a letter in state parliament detailing Queensland's plans to join an interstate clinical trial of a cannabis-derived product to treat children with severe, drug-resistant epilepsy.

'The Lady Cilento Children's Hospital is the likely Queensland trial site, with the trial expected to commence in 2016,' he wrote in a letter to a petitioner who'd written to the government in support of medicinal cannabis.

'This would be an important step in promoting further use of medicinal cannabis in Queensland.'

But Dr Zappala has stressed medicinal cannabis must be subject to the same safety tests as other drugs before it was offered the public.

'There needs to be more clinical research into the option and a national approach to cannabis being used for health outcomes,' he said in a statement.

Queensland's chief health officer Jeannette Young has already attended the first meeting of a steering committee set up to help guide the trial.

It's hoped the trial will show medicinal cannabis can be a safe and effective addition to existing treatments.


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