Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Primary Industries spokesperson
Today's announcement that the government’s medicinal cannabis Controlled Access Scheme will provide access for children with drug-resistant epilepsy is a positive step forward. It’s welcome news after years of inaction on this issue.
Last year the Liberals committed to providing access to medicinal cannabis for a wide range of medical conditions.
In State Parliament today, however, the Premier was unable reassure Tasmanians suffering terminal illnesses or chronic conditions, other than children with drug-resistant epilepsy, they would have the same access or provide them with information about when it might occur.
Growers and suppliers are under immense pressure from patients, and their families, trying to access medicinal cannabis to treat many serious medical conditions.
People suffering from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, those with eating disorders, multiple sclerosis, chronic arthritis or terminal illnesses are currently being forced to break the law to access medicinal cannabis.
There may also be real delays for those people trying to access the scheme, because of the lack of specialists. The Greens have been contacted by a constituent who has a child eligible for the Controlled Access Scheme, and advised an appointment with a neurologist in Launceston would be a 12 month wait.
Tasmanian patients, and their loved ones, believed the Liberals were making it easier to access medicinal cannabis, and to do so legally. The government’s announcement about the restricted Controlled Access Scheme will water down the hopes of those Tasmanians.