The long wait for therapeutic cannabis in Polynesia

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If metropolitan France has set up an experiment with therapeutic cannabis, Polynesia has been deprived of it. the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of French Polynesia has in fact issued a negative advisory opinion on its extension in the archipelago and the Polynesian Assembly has not taken control of the subject.

The local legislative authorities have however reiterated the need to legalize therapeutic cannabis for Polynesian patients. But nothing can be done without the agreement of the State, including scientific research around the plant, which is still prohibited.

Nicole Sanquer, president of the green and white party, had tabled a bill relating to the experimentation of therapeutic cannabis last year. “She is still on the table at the meeting. We examined it in committee for the first time, but the examination was postponed. A text proposal qualified as incomplete by the majority, which had announced its own text on the subject.

“We have not seen the country bill emanating from the government for the end of the first quarter of 2022”, notes however Nicole Sanquer.

If the solution is simple, remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances and modify the 2014 decree to authorize its use for therapeutic purposes, blocking is political. The elected official asked the chairman of the health commission, John Toromona, to set up an information mission on the subject, like the one that had taken place in mainland France, in order to “help on reflection” the government.

Philippe Cathelain, president of the Polynesian Hemp Union (SPC), reminds Tahiti Infos that politics has everything in its hands.

“They have everything, the Minister of Health, the President of the country. But why isn’t it moving forward? he asks.

Karl Anihia, president of the Tahiti Herb Culture (THC) association, assures him that “it’s simply a lack of political will”.

They both recall that civil society, through THC or SPC, is ready to come and lend a hand. “We must depoliticize” this loose debate Philippe Cathelain.

And the establishment of this mission of information through the health commission, could, according to them, contribute to it.

“We should have done it last year with Virginie Bruant. In fact, we lost a year for nothing and we are going back with the new president (John Toromona, the new president of the health commission, editor’s note) and we hope that he will have enough courage to go through with the promises made, namely that he is ready to take up this dossier and move it forward”.

Pending medical or recreational legalization, 1 in 5 households would plant cannabis in Polynesia, i.e. 60,000 consumers according to the only existing study.

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