Still sceptical about cannabis as medicine?

2 minute read

Many in the medical profession view cannabis as a recreational drug rather than a potential medicine, says Paul Mavor

Like many in the medical profession, pharmacist Paul Mavor was initially sceptical about medicinal cannabis.

But after travelling to the US, Canada and even Israel to seminars and cannabis growing facilities, he’s converted.

“I came in as a complete sceptic thinking that it was purely for recreational and it was a no-go zone for pharmacy and I’ve just become one of the biggest advocates for medical use in Australia,” he said.

“And with good reason; there’s really good scientific proof that shows that it can really help people that have no other options.”

Mr Mavor said many in the medical profession view cannabis as a recreational drug rather than a potential medicine.

“Not that they are against it, it’s that they haven’t been educated and exposed to some of the positive evidence,” he said.

To fill the education gap, Mr Mavor launched Medical Cannabis Research Australia in December 2016 along with and his wife, microbiologist Sharlene Mavor.

“We realised that there was no formal way that doctors and pharmacists could be educated [in Australia],” he said.

“There are lots of different groups [in medical cannabis] and a lot of them have got their own business agenda but no one was really doing any education from an independent point of view.”

Medical Cannabis Research Australia is a not-for-profit, independent organisation that runs education seminars for medical professionals.

The group will be running seminars across Australia in May, with talks by researchers (such as Associate Professor David Allsop, a psychopharmacologist at the University of Sydney) as well as pharmacists, prescribers and patient advocates.

“We are charging $25 per ticket to pay for airfares,” said Mr Mavor. “No one is getting paid. We don’t need to make any money because we’re there to put everything back into educating people.”

Seminars will run on the following dates:

Photo: Paul Mavor at a cannabis growing facility in Seattle in the US.

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