Marijuana oil has helped a lot of women suffering from cancer – Delanavesi resident
Medicinal marijuana has brought us an opportunity to re-evaluate the promotion and regularisation of herbal medicine – Dr Fong

Marijuana oil has helped a lot of women suffering from cancer – Delanavesi resident

Medicinal marijuana has brought us an opportunity to re-evaluate the promotion and regularisation of herbal medicine – Dr Fong

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Monday 09/10/2023
Delanavesi resident Marika Vakatubukawa

A few people who were allegedly producing medicine from locally-produced marijuana have called on the government to re-look at the illicit drug laws of the nation as they have said that the medicine they have been producing has saved a lot of women who were suffering from cancer.

Delanavesi resident Marika Vakatubukawa, while speaking in the i-Taukei language during the public consultation on the establishment of a medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji at Epworth Hall in Suva, claims he has been helping women who are suffering from cancer to use marijuana for the past years, and he has been advocating for this since 2018.

He says a lot of people from different backgrounds visit his place to ask for the medicine, and he has assisted them all.

He adds he has a case in court for selling his product since marijuana is still under the illicit drugs category.

The Delanavesi resident is urging the Health Ministry to re-look at the benefits of using marijuana as a medicine as it has been proven to save lives.

Josefa Rogovatu of Suva claimed that his cousin who had cancer, was cured by drinking only three glasses of marijuana juice.

He says his cousin had been continuously visiting the hospitals due to his illness, but nothing has changed.

Rogovatu also highlighted that a lot of people have left the hospital because they could not handle the medicine provided in hospitals.

He claims that marijuana can cure many diseases, but the law is limiting its usefulness.

He also suggested that the government should allow people to farm marijuana at their homes for medicinal use.

Responding to their submission, Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says he is thankful that people have brought up the issue of herbal medicine, and it is an area of contingent that they hoped to have established, even when he was working in the clinical field.

Dr Fong says they had set up one committee in Vatuwaqa but unfortunately, they had a difficult time trying to evolve because of the lack of signs around the area.

He adds this medicinal marijuana has brought them an opportunity to re-evaluate the promotion and regularisation of herbal medicine.

He says local use is a point of evolution for them, and as a former clinician, and a person that has treated many cancers in women, there is symptomatic relief to be obtained from this.

The Permanent Secretary says at the end of the day, there is a lot of work that has to be done in the legal area so that when they open one door, they don’t open it too wide but just open it enough to allow the good things to go in.

Dr Fong says the Health Ministry will work with the Taskforce on the promotion and regularisation of herbal medicine, and in the future, they are also looking at facilitating some internal use of the products.

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