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Study finds Australian doctors confused by medicinal cannabis

It’s been two years since medical cannabis was legalised in Australia, marking a huge step forward in helping people to relieve the symptoms of a number of medical conditions.

But there is still a long way to go in making medical cannabis accessible.

A University of Sydney survey found 58% of GPs were in favour of prescribing medical cannabis and two-thirds have had patients ask about the drug.

However, the majority of GPs feel uninformed about its use and regulation.

The first Australian GP authorised to prescribe medical cannabis Vicki Kotsirilos tells Deborah Knight most GPs don’t feel comfortable prescribing the drug.

“There’s often a lot of confusion between medicinal cannabis and marijuana.

“We support the used of medicinal cannabis for patients who are unwell where they’ve tried all treatments and where their treatments have failed.”

Ms Kotsirilos says there is a lot of red tape making it difficult for patients to access medicinal cannabis.

“We do require special permission… it is a long bureaucratic process and we would like to see the system improved.”

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Deborah Knight