Much-needed cannabis oil stalled by CIG

| 08/08/2016 | 40 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): A local woman with cancer was told by government more than nine months ago that legislation would be amended to enable her to import cannabis oil to ease her suffering, but she is still waiting. Despite public declarations by the premier in May during his budget address that this was a “matter of urgency” and that the legal department had been instructed to draw up legislation, there is still no law to facilitate the importation of what is now considered one of the most successful medicines for cancer and other ailments. Dennie Warren Jr, who is waiting for the drug to treat his wife, spelled out what the delay means for her.

“My wife’s choice right now is between death and death,” he said. “To wait nine months in an emergency situation is ridiculous.”

Warren said that he understood that all that is needed is a small amendment to the misuse of drugs law to permit the controlled importation of cannabis oil, which could be prescribed by doctors in the same way that other controlled drugs, such as morphine, are managed.

“I am not sure what message the government is sending me, but it should not take this long,” he said.

Warren’s wife is at the end of the road for conventional medicine but the couple know that the oil could be a life-saver, not just for her but for several others in Cayman as well. However, the delay in dealing with the necessary legal bureaucracy is one they may not survive.

Although all of the members of the Legislative Assembly are behind the change in legislation and its passage is expected without any issue, the problem appears to be with the health ministry. Warren said he had been led to believe the chief officer in the health ministry is dragging her feet, owing to pressure from some quarters of the medical community and what he was told is the “establishment”.

Warren said he was worried that some people were unwilling to back the importation of the oil because there is no body of scientific research that supports the use of the oil in cancer cases, but he said the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.

Having thoroughly researched the subject, he said this is his wife’s last hope and the delay in drafting the simple changes to the law is extremely difficult to understand, very stressful and emotionally challenging for the couple.

“It seems so simple to me to change the law. It feels as though there is much more going on behind the scenes,” he added.

Warren said neither he nor his wife are in favour of legalising the recreational use of ganja in general; they are simply seeking access to life-saving treatment that is being used in many different places around the world to manage and cure, not just cancer, but a range of other conditions, from epilepsy to pain management.

Warren believes that his wife has a right to fair and equitable access to health care that works, and is questioning whether this is a human rights issues.

But time is running out for legal challenges and Warren says his wife needs the cannabis oil now.

Although the medicine is now available in various parts of the US, Warren said that he and his wife are not wealthy and they cannot afford to spend six months or more in Colorado in order to access the treatment.

He said that he is not prepared to break the law to access the treatment because it’s not just his wife’s life that hangs in the balance but the lives of many others in Cayman who could also be saved if the necessary action is taken by government.

Medicine cannot be available only to those who have the money or who are willing to break the law, Warren said and is pleading with the government to fulfill its very public promise and pass the legislation this week in an emergency session of the House if necessary.

“We need speed and a legal regime in place now,” Warren said. He keeps being told this will happen “shortly”, which he believes is the most abused word by government since there is nothing short about nine months when you are facing death at any moment.

During his budget speech Premier Alden McLaughlin, who is the health minister, stated that Cabinet had considering the merits and demerits of legalising the use of medical cannabinoid oil and was persuaded that it is better to favour hope and compassion over fear.

“We are treating this as a matter of urgency for we are keenly aware that time is not a luxury for many of those whom this drug may benefit,”he told the Legislative Assembly in May, but the urgency seems to have waned.

Warren said that during his last conversation with government officials the law was expected to be ready for the next parliamentary meeting, which is not scheduled until the end of September. This means that his wife, if she survives, may not receive the drug until November — a year after the family was promised an immediate change in the law.

“We try to stay positive but no matter how hard you try to be and keep moving forward, it’s extremely difficult and we don’t know what is going to happen,” he said.

Warren’s wife is suffering from lung cancer even though she never smoked. She is currently taking the last available inhibitor medication, which is holding off the life-threatening tumors. But the glaring reality is that this drug, like previous treatments, will at some point stop working, the only question is when, and if the couple can’t access the cannabis oil before that happens, there is no more hope.

“It’s so frustrating,” Warren said. “It’s such a small legislative change, we can’t understand this delay,” he added, as he pleaded with government to save his wife’s life.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Health, health and safety, Laws, Politics

Comments (40)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    It took government 30 years and numerous deaths on the West Bay Road to get pedestrian crosswalks installed and the speed limit reduced!!

    We still would not have pedestrian crosswalks had Daddy D not ordered, yes ordered, government to install them.

    What Daddy D wants, Daddy D gets.

    It is a sad fact that government reacts to only some select few people.

    Now if we could get Daddy D to want the use of medical cannabis oil legalized then in two days government would jump, skip and hop to do whatever is necessary to legalize the medical use of cannabis oil.

    We will see Daddy D’s PR army rise up in his defence against the truth.

  2. anonymous says:

    How many people check radon levels in their homes? #1 cause of lung cancer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think it time for people to start to think not every thing is the goverment fault

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have no idea whether or not getting marijuana will help his wife. He says he is not wealthy. Most of us are not, but he surely could come up with some creative ways of getting his wife off island to get this oil. Have some charities help you raise some funds, ask government to contribute some funds to assist since you think it is their fault. Ask the cancer society to help , they are always willing to help. One thing you can always count on in Cayman is that the residents are always willing to assist come on Dennie, ask someone to help you out here, you have been waiting almost a year, how much longer are you prepared to wait.. Get a group of your friends together and start some fund raising. I am not wealthy either but I could spare a donation as I believe many would do. Waiting and getting frustrated won’t cut it while your wife and your kids mother suffer. Please do not wait just to prove a point.

    • Anonymous says:

      I praise you for your desire to help. If you have read all information on Rick Simpson authentic site or Facebook, it will require 6 months for a round of treatment with the oil. And they have to move to Amsterdam to do that, there is really no other options.
      Rick Simpson says: The only way to know that you have the real thing, is to produce the proper oil yourself. The quality of the oil is extremely important.
      Meantime they can call to compounding pharmacies in Miami for example and find out which doctors can prescribe LDN. It is $40 max per month.
      Google this: “Find out how low-dose naltrexone works, what kind of conditions it’s been studied in, and how you might find a doctor that you can work with to take it. ”
      They should try all they can.

    • Sunshine says:

      Do you think it is easy as a teacher dependent on the Civil Service medical insurance (CINICO) to take that much time off and have it paid? Whilst I think that funds may be raised, some people do not like to bother others. I can only imagine how much it would cost to relocate for such a long time with children not to mention how much cancer treatments cost plus housing etc.

      My heart goes out to all individuals with stage 4 cancer or any stage/type of cancer patient. I am sure they are doing this for the betterment of any and every one on this beloved island.

  5. Politricks 101 says:

    Do nothing PPM. Playing god nothing more than empty promises in an election year.

  6. Use your heads says:

    Why not just simply change the categorization of the drug and put it on the schedule with Morphine and other Opiates ? Seems like a long-winded way of playing politics with this.

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    Try boiling the green leaves from the sour sop tree and drinking the tea…

  8. Martin says:

    First of all, my deepest compassion to anyone who suffers from cancer. That said, this article is ridiculous. Cannabis oil or the so called bogus “Medical Marijuana” has never been even remotely claimed to improve survival of any form of cancer whatsoever. It may help relieve suffering in certain select cases, but this is not the same as prolonging life or even treating cancer. Many other legal readily available medications already exist which can relieve suffering just as readily. Please do the research before you speak out on this topic.

    • Anonymous says:

      I take it you brain is closed to any treatment outside of what the western drug pushers tell you to use. Your wrong friend. Many natural ways to cure and shrink cancer. This is one of many trees of life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Although I respect your opinion supporting the “big pharma” cartel, my research suggests otherwise. “Big pharma” is doing everything they can to lobby governments the world over into stymying new startups and research for the delivery of cannabis derived cures. At least until they get their super expensive watered down versions on the shelf of pharmacies including yours.

      Even though a pain killing drug called Sativex has been in production in the UK for almost a decade it still takes a special order from the Queen in order to prescribe it in that country. Ironically this drug seems to be manufactured in the UK for primarily the Canadian market. You don’t see any ads on TV for this one do you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just wait untill it is your turn. You would try anything unless you are one of these jesus freaks.

  9. Concerned Resident says:

    Is hemp oil very different from cannabis oil? If not then you can buy hemp oil in Kirk Supermarket right now. I heard it is a natural cure for skin cancer.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is different. Rick Simpson(phoenixtears.ca) calls is cannabis oil, but it is marijuana oil. All you need to know is on this site.

  10. Sea Egg says:

    Looks like cannabis oil is legal in Florida. Perhaps the family could move there and maybe some Caymanian who owns a house there will let them have it for a minimal rent or even rent free.I have one question though Is this cannabis oil that the wife needs actually a cure for cancer or is it to ease the pain only.See these links: http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/charlottes-web-derived-from-hemp-has-been-legal-since-2003-6452442, also http://mjbizdaily.com/florida-gov-signs-cbd-law/

  11. Anonymous says:

    I believe he is in a really desperate situation, XXXXX. Has he submitted any sort of document to Government detailing exactly what the cost would be to move to such a location for six months. Perhaps Government would be able to assist him quicker should he choose to go this route. Lastly how about he gives the public those figures then maybe we can raise some funds that way.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This oil is not that hard to make. I have had conversations with a few people who have made it for their loved ones. I know its technically illegal but in situations like this i wouldnt wait. I hope there would be a public outcry if anyone was arrested for trying to provide their loved ones some comfort or healing. Check Rick Simpsons videos on youtube. It has really helped people on island already that used his methods.

    • Anonymous says:

      Step by step instruction on phoenixtears.ca site. Also, all you need to know, all questions are answered there.

  13. ZIKA Free Fridays says:

    And my heath continues to deteriorate as our elected incompetents delay…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Some departments in the CIG are still operating in a medieval mode. There seems to be an overwhelming fear of opening the floodgates to this kind of medicine. This is hypocrisy in its purest form. CIG loosely regulates alcohol, patients are written prescriptions for legal narcotics, psychotropics and depressants in many cases without proper medical and psychological evaluation. Yet a terminally ill patient withers while waiting for CIG to get with the program.
    With general perception that Cayman has a higher than average cancer rate per capita one would think that CIG would have taken the initiative and have enabled the legislation for medical cannabis years ago.

    What does your party name “Progressive” really stand for Alden?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the same idiocy with HIV/AIDS testing. The ‘while you wait’ kits have been available for years but CIG still insists on full blood testing. I suspect some of this is financial because the potential income from alternative treatments like cannabis oil are a fraction of what can be raked in from the old-fashioned options.

    • MM says:

      The PPM is VERY progressive… but for whom?

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden and the rest of the Progressives are in full support of this. According to the article, the hold-up is in the health ministry.

  15. Anonymous says:

    CNS, can you send this to the Warren’s family (because I am sure you won’t publish it, which is actually good)? Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN): One of the RARE Drugs that Actually Helps Your Body to Heal Itself. It has Impressive Results in Cancer Treatment, cheap and has low or no side-effects.
    There may be no doctors who know about this medicine, let alone prescribe it (no financial benefits to start with), and there may be no compound pharmacies in the CI to compound it, but I am sure desperate people will find a way of getting this medicine.

    CNS: I see no reason not to publish this as people can do their own research. I would add this link, which seems to be fairly balanced: The use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic pain and urge caution about believing everything you read on the internet.

  16. Anonymous says:

    MLAs of the Cayman Islands, the Premier said it best when he said “During his budget speech … Cabinet had considering[sic] the merits and demerits of legalising the use of medical cannabinoid oil and was persuaded that it is better to favour hope and compassion over fear.’

    Cabinet show some empathy, compassion and tolerance and DO THE RIGHT THING.. Amend this Law. The “Lives of the People of the Cayman Islands Do Matter.”

  17. Anonymous says:

    alden’s budget declaration was nothing more than a populist sound bite…..
    don’t worry ppm…. you will be judged on actual results……
    just like, landfill, immigration, port, cost of doing business….you have failed!

    • Caymanian says:

      lol. Yeah but what real choice we have? Are we SERIOUSLY considering UDP or whatever they calling themselves now that wanted:

      China – Berthing
      Oil Refinery in North Sound
      Port in East End

      What did I forget?

      Ooh yeah they had 4 years before and yeah no garbage solution except to bow tie the Cayman Islands and deliver it to dart on a platter

      You want to beat up PPM go for it…but lets not forget AT LEAST THEY BROUGHT IT TO THE TABLE….They have been the most progressive party to date with not only confronting the Canibas issue but also Store opening on Sunday with a step towards full supermarkets opening at some point in the future.

      While I find somethings irritable about them I feel on the whole they have done a good job at the helm. This time around no drastic projects (as yet) that kill us.

      Things I want to see it’s not only them not doing it but every darn group before them and that Alternative Energy, Casino’s in the Cayman Islands (I personally don’t think a lottery is possible but I could be wrong) and allowing all Supermarkets to open on Sunday or stop the darn hypocrisy and close every outlet including hotel bars that serve alcohol. As the old people say crap or get off the pot. Either be religious or not but not half way to serve one sector. It’s not logical that I can buy a beer on Sunday but not a loaf of bread except I pay 1 gazillion % markup at a gas station.

      We need to start finding ways to lower the cost of living in the Cayman Islands and developing other financial legs to allow us to survive should some day the powers that be find a way to destroy of financial sector.

      You can try to attack them on the Policing issues but its not under their direct control.

    • Anonymous says:

      Problem is [she] doesn’t have the time to wait on the PPM to be judged at election time. I wonder if it was their daughter or niece or sister how much quicker a solution would have been found???

  18. Anonymous says:

    turtle pace progress form the do-nothing ppm……

    • Anonymous says:

      Turtle pace progress! This must be from the same or another foreigner who doesn’t know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise.
      You haven’t witnessed the speed of a turtle swimming, have you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Our CIG turtles crawled out of the sea many yarns ago, they don’t swim any more they just wallow with their heads in the sand.

  19. Anonymous says:

    this is the government that took 3 years to change road signs on smb…..don’t hold your breath on medical cannabis oil…….

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is not the first time and sadly wont be the last one when a Government prioritized politics over a Human Life. sending his citizens to stupid wars, limiting access to technology or like in this case, knowing that they will accepted but Politics put a halt into it. I wish there were someone with the knowledge and the finances to look for the legal part of this. They know it could save her life, they committed to accept it but they are not moving forward, I don’t see criminal intent here but definitely would love to hold them accountable in a court of law.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please support independent journalism in the Cayman Islands