Medicinal cannabis legalised
It started at the very roots of our Party and was supported at the NSW Annual General Conference. Now, medicinal cannabis legislation in Federal Parliament has passed, meaning the drug can be grown locally and accessed easily by the terminally ill. Cancer patient Dan Haslam’s story is one that transcended his home of Tamworth, striking a chord with many Nats. His mother Lucy (pictured) continued the campaign alongside his local Member Kevin Anderson and the story has reverberated through the walls of State and Federal Parliament.
Though Dan sadly passed away at 25 in February last year, his fight for medicinal cannabis to be legalised has been honoured. Not only does the legislation permit the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes by patients with chronic health conditions such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, there is now scope to locally grow the plant. Cannabis grown in Australia can now also be used for scientific and research purposes.
The Federal Government will work closely with an Advisory Council to ensure patients will receive the optimal benefits of the new drug soon. The Advisory Council will include representatives from all states and territories including pharmacology and toxicology scientists, community pharmacists and practitioners as well as health experts in palliative care.
Patients can currently access cannabis for medicinal purposes under the supervision of their doctor but it is difficult to find suitable products under the previous laws, which prohibited growing the drug in Australia. The use of cannabis for recreational purposes is still prohibited but it’s hoped that the drug will become available for medical purposes through formal channels in early 2017.