Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis By Victoria Catherwood

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About Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

Project 2016-11-07 22:23:54 +1300

 

Did you know that individuals 55 years and over use medicinal cannabis the most in NZ per person each day? Or that about 175,000 people in NZ use cannabis for medical purposes? 

 

THE PROBLEM

Because of its illegal status, doctors and medical students do not receive education on medicinal cannabis. We aim to fill this much-needed gap with a documentary resource about medicinal cannabis in NZ aimed at the medical community.

 

WHY

The world is waking up to the potential of cannabis and its compounds, the cannabinoids. Even though medicinal cannabis was made illegal in the early 60's it's an internationally recognised medicine. Today policy and law changes surrounding the use of this medicinal plant are being seen globally. Even Australia legalised medicinal cannabis on the 1st November 2016!

Cannabis misuse can be harmful- especially when it is known to have drug interactions. But even more concerning are the harms from medicinal cannabis' illegal status that are almost never talked about- it involves breaking the law, associating with criminals and using untested products. We hope to reduce these harms by equipping doctors and the medical community so they can have the appropriate medicinal cannabis conversations with patients. 

 

GOALS

  • Illustrate the relevance of medicinal and medical cannabis in the treatment of disease in New Zealand
  • Create a documentary and consumer sheet that can be used to help inform medical practitioners and the community of current research benefits, harms and legal rights
  • Decrease the stigma of medicinal and medical cannabis in New Zealand and encourage healthcare providers to have informed conversations with medicinal cannabis users
  • Reduce harms to provide better health outcomes for medicinal and medical cannabis users

 

BACKGROUND 

Thousands of NZers use medicinal cannabis illegally every day. In fact, a recent government survey by the Ministry of Health (2012/13) reported that about 500,000 kiwis used cannabis in the previous 12 months. Of these users, 42% claim medicinal benefits from whole cannabis or cannabis products for pain or another medical condition. And who would have guessed that the 55+ year age bracket have the highest rate of use.

It might surprise you that medicinal cannabis was once legal in New Zealand. It was widely advertised in the late 1800's and early 1900's for a range of ailments, including asthma because it helps to dilate the windpipes. To see what medicinal cannabis was advertised for you can see past newspaper advertisements here.

Hemp was made illegal in 1927 with the Dangerous Drugs Act but cannabis prescriptions were still available until the early 1960s when the laws were tightened with the UN Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the Narcotics Act. In following the global trend for a War on Drugs, all cannabis possession was made illegal with the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Nevertheless, the medicinal potential of cannabis was always well known and it has been legal in California for over two decades. More recently, it was made legal in Australia from November the 1st 2016 and in four more states with the recent U.S election. That’s a total of 28 U.S. states including the The District of Colombia where medicinal cannabis is legal. Other countries where medicinal cannabis laws have been passed include: Canada, Chile, BelgiumJamaica, Uruguay, Colombia, Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Romania, Mexico, Poland, France, Macedonia, Malta, Slovenia, Turkey and Croatia.

Why can people use an expensive cannabis-derived pharmaceutical or bring medicinal cannabis back to NZ but it's illegal to access within Aotearoa? Why does medicinal cannabis have so much stigma? And why do they say there is limited research when a number of randomised controlled trials have already been done? 

 

WHAT

We (Victoria & Veronica) plan to travel around New Zealand interviewing experts on patients legal rights and the legal obligations of doctors to their patients surrounding medicinal cannabis. We will speak to some medical specalists on the line between best practice and the law and how to walk it finely without reproach. We speak to medicinal cannabis users to find out the benefits felt by them, and the harms caused by its illegal status. The research will come from Victoria's med school research projects and from the medical cannabis institute. The footage will be edited into a 30-minute film that will be made available online for the medical community and public to access. We would also like to develop a consumer sheet that summarises peer reviewed benefits and harms as well as clarifing legal aspects for both patients and doctors. We will also ask you, as the supporters, to help us spread this film through your networks.

 

 WHO

•   Victoria Catherwood is a fifth-year medical student at the University of Otago, a researcher, co-founder of The University of Otago Integrative Medicine Otago Group and is close to someone who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Victoria has a BSc in Biochemistry and Psychology from the University of Canterbury, a GDip and MSc in Cell and Molecular Bioscience from the Victoria University of Wellington. She co-created an educational resource called 'Case Studies in Medicine Level 1' that acts as a medical case guide for 2nd year medicine at the University of Otago. It is her aim to inform the medical community and the public about the relevance of medicinal cannabis in NZ to minimise patient harms. 

 

•   Veronica Stevenson is a science storyteller at Spindle Fibre Films. She has a BSc in Anatomy and a Masters of Science Communication and Filmmaking. It is her aim to use film to increase the understanding and uptake of science and technology.

 

BUDGET

We have estimated that it will cost around $9000 to complete the whole project. This includes travel, accommodation, and expenses when we're undertaking the 6 interviews around New Zealand. We will be using a graphic designer for data visualisation of the research and its findings. This budget also covers film equipment, production, and post-production costs. The research and planning that has gone into the project, as well as its distribution, are being done for the love of it but our goal amount is essential for us to deliver a high quality and accurate medical resource. If we get over $9000 we have some stretch goals that we would LOVE to complete. Ideas for our stretch goals include flying one or two medicinal cannabis experts to NZ for a lecture series and visiting Australian doctors to see how the recent law reform changed the way they prescribe medicine now.

 

Please donate to help.

Comments

The People Behind Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

Img 1072 Victoria Catherwood Project admin

Victoria is a fifth year medical student who is concerned that medical practitioners aren't properly equipped with medicinal cannabis edication around benefits and harms. Especially about the harmful effects of having medicinal cannabis illegal in NZ.

Veronica is a science communication film maker that is helping her to create a documentary resource on medicinal cannabis in NZ targeted for medical practitioners.

Updates

    'Mum, Cannabis and Me' documentary link

    01:49PM Tue 12/12/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    The response from doctors, patients and the public has been incredibly positive since we released the documentary premier at The Wellington Hospital on September 8th 2017, along with 10 further crowdscreenings across NZ.

     

    Let’s hope that doctors continue to educate themselves about cannabis as a medicine so they can have informed conversations with patients to improve health outcomes and minimise harms where possible.

     

    We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the crowdfunding and made this project a reality. 

     

    Ngā mihi nui.

    Comment on this update:

    Documentary teaser and Worldwide Premier

    09:39PM Thu 31/08/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    I'm super excited to announce the Worldwide Premier screening for 'Mum, Cannabis and Me' on the 8th September 2017 at The Wellington Hospital!!!!

     

    With the help from the incredibly talented crew at Spindle Fibre Films I'v spent the last 12 months creating this investigative and educational documentary about cannabis as a medicine in New Zealand. It's targeted for doctors, and medical folk, but will help anyone who wants to be more informed on this issue that affects 1 in 20 kiwis.

     

    I want to say a HUGE thanks to all of the incredible people who helped to crowdfund and make this dream possible! Without you (and you know who you are) this documentary would not have happened.

     

    Tickets to the Premier are free, but limited so make sure you get one from the ticketing page below. 
    https://tinyurl.com/MC-Mpremier

     

    There are more events to be hosted during our Nationwide Blitz on the 8th-10th September. So far we have one in Rotorua set up but stay tuned to Spindle Fibre Films for screenings near you or fill this in to get amongst and host your own.
    https://tinyurl.com/hostMC-M

    Comment on this update:

    Dr. Bearman on RadioNZ

    06:55PM Sun 07/05/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Dr. David Bearman is coming to NZ next week!

    Check out our latest newsletter with the announcements if you havn't seen it already. 

    In a nutshell, Tori was fed up with aggressivley ignorant doctors continuing to spin the same misinformation.

    So she took out a loan and paid for him to come to NZ. With the help of Victoria Davis, Blair Anderson, Julie Anne Genter and the amazing, Veronica Stevenson we have planned a tour of NZ.

    The fundraising event 6.30-9 on the 11th May at the BizDojo will help to pay the extra doco budget costs. 

     

    Listen here to him talk on RadioNZ about cannabis as a medicine.

     

     

    Comment on this update:

    A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO THESE AMAZING HUMANS!!

    08:58PM Thu 09/03/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO THESE AMAZING HUMANS!!

    Your generosity has helped us to reach our target so we can make a resource documentary for NZ docs about cannabis as a medicine!

     

    Comment on this update:

    3 HOURS TO GO AND WE MADE IT!!

    09:47AM Tue 28/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    With 3 hours to go... WE MADE THE TARGET!

     

    Thank you so much for donating!!!

    Without your donation, we would not have reached our target.

     

    Now we can make a resource documentary for doctors about cannabis as a medicine in New Zealand!!

    This is the only way to have informed patient and doctor conversations to minimise harms for those who are using medicinal cannabis.

     

    We will be sending out the rewards over the next few days so keep an eye on your letterboxes if you ar expecting something.

     

    Once again, thank you kind people! 

    From Victoria and Veronica

     

     

     

     

    Comment on this update:

    Check this out!

    06:30PM Sun 26/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    We are $758 from our target!

    We have been reaching out on social media for help

    Check out Tori's Facebook Live plea to get people to pledge.

    Comment on this update:

    Otago Daily Times and The University of Otago come to the media party

    10:15AM Wed 22/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Otago media cover our crowdfunding!

     

    I was in Dunedin when The University of Otago supported us on their facebook page!

    See the article here.

     

    And the Otago Daily Times jumped on board too

    See this article here.

     

    Comment on this update:

    HERB website claim our project as "revolutionary documentary"

    01:37PM Tue 21/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Herb.co called our doco "revolutionary"

     

    This is great news to be published on one of the largest international cannabis websites!!!

    Check out the article here.

     

    Also, incase you missed this one, Nelson lawyer Sue Grey reiterates that the recent law changes are "baby steps" towards cannabis ad a medicine law reform.

    Check out the article here.

     

    MORE UPDATES COMING SOON!!!

     

    Comment on this update:

    2 WEEKS MORE CROWDFUNDING!!

    01:44PM Mon 13/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    WE HAD TO EXTEND THE CROWDFUNDING DEADLINE! 

     

    WE WEREN'T GOING TO MAKE IT, SO WE HAD TO EXTEND THE CROWDFUNDING TARGET DEADLINE BY 2 WEEKS TO MAKE THIS ESSENTIAL RESOURCE POSSIBLE

    WE DIDN'T WANT TO, BUT WITH ONLY $5,102 WE WERE NOT GOING TO REACH THE TARGET BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT

     

    So we asked the pledge me team really nicely to extend it for us this once. Now we have a better shot at reaching the target, so we have 15 days left to raise $4000!

     

    Comment on this update:

    One small medicinal cannabis step forward NZ!

    11:42PM Wed 08/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Ministry of Health make a baby step in medicinal Cannabis law reform

     

    Today the Ministry of Health said that specalist doctors, but not GP's (do they realise it's a speciality too?) can apply through the Ministry of Health for medicinal cannabis products.

    What does this mean? 

    Well to be honest, I don't really know until we see which specialists can prescribe, and what can they prescribe?

    This doesn't change the blindingly obvious realisation that these are still not funded, and still has to be imported.

    I can't help but wonder is this smoke and mirrors? Only time will tell.

     

    Only 5 days left! And it's not looking good on the crowdfunding front...😢

    Comment on this update:

    Did you see this?

    09:54PM Sun 05/02/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Hey Team!

     

    We need $5328 in 7 days!!

     

    So, we are trying to pick up the funding pace!!!

     

    Stuff.co.nz published this article so if you havn't already, help to spread the word to get this resource made!!

     

    ONLY 8 DAYS LEFT....eek!

     

     

     

    Comment on this update:

    You need to pledge to see this update.

    FREE GIVEAWAY! Tickets to medicinal plant based degustation with guest speakers Victoria Catherwood, Michael Mayell and Cam Sims.

    08:16PM Wed 25/01/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Im giving away a $250 double pass to a 10 course educational dining experience this Saturday in Christchurch where I’ll be guest speaking about medicinal plant based food (including medicinal cannabis) alongside Michael Mayell (Cookie Time Founder) and Chef Cam Sims.

    If you or a friend are interested tag a friend on the event page!

    This is a ONE AND ONLY pop up event so get tagging to come along.

    Tickets drawn Friday.

    Comment on this update:

    Please share this crowdfunding campaign!

    09:13PM Sun 22/01/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    With legal CBD access looking to be sooner than we think, it's important the medical community are ready! Please help us spread the word of this crowdfunding campaign far and wide!!

    Comment on this update:

    A great response!

    03:48PM Sat 21/01/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    Hey team,

     

    Wow! We have almost reached $2000 after only 48 hours. This response has been incredible so thanks NZ for telling us what you want!

    We want to say a special thanks to the pledgers for helping to educate the medical community about cannabis as a medicine!!

    There are some very VERY interesting developments happening in the world and in NZ right now regarding cannabis as a medicine. 

    Stay tuned for some exciting updates COMING SOON!

    Comment on this update:

    WE HAVE REACHED $1500 AND ITS NOT EVEN 24 HOURS SINCE WE LAUNCHED!!!

    03:01PM Fri 20/01/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    The response from medical students, doctors, researchers and the public has been EXCEPTIONAL!!! I can't keep up with the influx of e-mails and linkedin requests! This only acts as a solid reminder that this educational resource is wanted and needed. 

    There are about 170 kiwis using 'medical cannabis' also known as synthetic cannabinoids. While it is reported that about 175,000 kiwis use 'medicinal' cannabis- and this is mostly illegal use, which has more harms because of unchecked drug interactions, criminality issues and using untested products.

    But, both MEDICAL and MEDICINAL cannabis are legally avaliable here in NZ to people who are wealthy enough to afford synthetic cannabinoids (medical cannabis) or travel overseas and get a one month legal prescription of medicinal cannabis.

     

    My question to the public is: Why on earth would you only educate about 'medical' cannabis when the other 99% of users are taking 'medicinal' cannabis? 

     

    It's okay though. We plan to cover both because they are both important in the harm minimisation model of healthcare.

     

    But I think the doco resource just earned its title: "Medicinal or medical"

     

     

    Comment on this update:

    NEWS COVERAGE!!

    10:07AM Fri 20/01/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    The launch of the crowdfunding page got some TV3 Newshub coverage!!

    We hope that people relise that this education is really important for the 175,000 kiwis who use medicinal AND medical cannabis. 

     

    Thanks for supporting everyone.

    Comment on this update:

    Sign up for our newsletter updates!

    12:07AM Thu 19/01/17 on Documentary Resource for Medical Practitioners on Medicinal Cannabis

    If you want to know more check out our social media on facebook, instagram and twitter or subscribe to our newsletter updates here.

    Comment on this update:

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