Australia legalizes Medical Marijuana
Australia made the bold move this week to legalize medicinal marijuana use for the whole country. The Therapeutics Goods Administration was the one to make the decision. Medicinal marijuana will be legalized but strictly controlled. Parliament passed the measure on Wednesday and the amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act will allow Australians to legally grow cannabis for medical and scientific purposes for the first time.
“This is a historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals,” Minister of Health Sussan Ley said in a statement.
“This is the missing piece in a patient’s treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced medicinal cannabis products from farm to pharmacy,” she said.
The Death of Daniel Haslam
A 25-year-old by the name of Daniel Haslam lost his life to terminal bowel cancer. Before that, his parents were his dope dealers. A seasoned nurse and police officer were giving their son marijuana to ease his chemotherapy symptoms. He suffered from uncontrolled nausea and vomiting after every chemotherapy session.
His parents were desperate to end his suffering and another cancer sufferer recommended pot. After trying cannabis his mother claims his life became “a little more tolerable. A sick young man reluctantly tried a joint and just like that, he felt so much better. He gained an appetite, had his nausea and vomiting addressed and was able to maintain his weight through his ongoing treatment.”
Dan’s final months were made more comfortable because his parents were willing to risk criminalising themselves to ease his pain. Many other people have been prosecuted for doing exactly what Dan’s family did.
Dan’s dying wish, was for others to experience the unique qualities of cannabis when suffering as he did. His mother, Lucy Haslam, started a petition to make medicinal marijuana more accessible to sick and suffering Australians.
It was this story that touched the Australian parliament and got the law passed. Suffering Australians who will benefit from this law change have Dan Haslam to thank. Australian Sen. Richard Di Natale was the one who brought up Haslam’s story to parliament.
“It is incredibly fitting that today we are passing this bill which is one step towards making medicinal cannabis accessible to people like Dan,” Di Natale said.
“Thank you to Lucy for everything you have done. Please know that your family’s grief, pain and suffering has not been in vain and this is a legacy that Dan will leave here in Parliament.”
Lucy Haslam’s main concern with the recent passing of the law is the pricing of medicinal cannabis, as well as the lack of education on the matter.
“My fear is that the industry will become so expensive that patients won’t be able to access a legal supply at an affordable price,” said Haslam. “There’s also a lot of work to do on educating people and doctors, some of who remain a bit uncomfortable about prescribing medical cannabis to patients.”
Australians hope the new laws will benefit those suffering and bring money into the country.
Featured photo credit: Getty images