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Medicinal Cannabis Law Reform Needed

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tags: Medicinal Cannabis

Law reform recognising the use of medicinal cannabis is urgently needed, to remove the threat of criminal sanctions from those suffering terminal illness or other severe health conditions, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“Nationally we are seeing brave and desperate parents come forward to tell their deeply personal stories of fearing for their child’s health and well-being, who are then subjected to police raids and potential prosecution,” Ms O’Connor said.

“The recent ACT example, where an individual’s home was raided after the resident alerted the Chief Minister to the use of a cannabis tincture to treat  seizures suffered by a  two year old girl, has again highlighted how out of step the law is with people’s health needs.”

“Earlier this month, Victorian parents who spoke out publicly detailing how cannabis oil assists in treating the severe medical condition of their young son, were also then raided by Victoria Police and arrested.” 

“Nationally, we are woefully behind the rest of the world.”

“Earlier this week, conservative Republican Congressman, Mr Scott Perry from Pennsylvania announced he will be introducing into Congress a law to legalise nationally a cannabis-based oil for children suffering seizures from debilitating epilepsy.” [1]

“At the same time as US conservatives are moving to address this compassionate medical need, in Australia, the police are sent in.”

“The lack of legal recognition of medicinal cannabis - despite it becoming more widely recognised as a potential treatment for those suffering excrutiating pain and other severe symptoms - places patients, carers and police officers in an invidious situation.”

“People who are profoundly suffering or dying should not also have to fear prosecution when seeking relief from that pain or their symptoms.”

“Parents watching their child endure brain-damage threatening seizures hundreds of times on a daily basis should not be forced to choose between a potential treatment and their own freedom.”

“Our laws need to catch-up and reflect the compassionate choice that is medicinal cannabis.”

“Recognition of medicinal cannabis is happening globally.  The law needs to catch up in Australia to remove the threat of criminal sanctions from those who are suffering, and from their carers,” Ms O’Connor said.