There is strong community and political support to reform our approach to medicinal cannabis and make this medication available to those who need it.
As Co-convenor of the Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Dr Richard Di Natale continues to work with experts, patients and politicians from all sides of politics to deliver policy reform that ensure access to medicinal cannabis for every patient who needs it.
There is already overwhelming evidence for the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for conditions such as intractable nausea and muscle spasms. This issue is not about politics, it’s about getting medicine to people who need it, relieving their pain and suffering.
The Greens believe that a comprehensive approach to this issue is needed, which ensures the establishment of an independent regulator would be responsible for licensing the growing, manufacturing and distribution of medicinal cannabis. An independent regulator would use clinical evidence to determine the limited set of conditions for which medicinal cannabis can be prescribed.
In February 2016, the parliament passed legislation to establish a national licensing scheme for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis, and in September it was announced that the TGA would recategorise medicinal cannabis for pharmaceutical use.
The Greens believe medicinal cannabis needs to be available to every patient who needs it and we’ve seen the first pieces of that puzzle pass into law.
There needs to be ongoing engagement and work to ensure that we overcome the many barriers that still stand between patients and the medicine they need. The final test for any reform is whether it will get this medicine in the hands of everyone who needs it.
Disallowing unfair regulation
The Greens are moving to disallow regulations to ensure terminally ill Australian patients can access medicinal cannabis.
The government’s regulation adds time, stress and difficulty terminally ill patients who seek to access medicinal cannabis products, forcing them to endure greater waiting times and red tape. The Greens are acting to ensure all terminally ill patients don’t face further hardship in accessing medicinal cannabis treatments.
It’s almost 12 months since the government introduced legislation to make medicinal cannabis legal in Australia. Patients are still waiting and to compound this delay, the government wants to make it even harder for those who are dying. We will make sure the government doesn’t make it harder for them to access this treatment.
This is simple cruelty to people most in need. These patients are dying and medicinal cannabis may alleviate their suffering. The Greens’ disallowance motion has been lodged and must be debated in the Senate during March. You can read the disallowance here.
Dan Haslam was 20 years old when he was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer. He spent three years enduring treatment that made him constantly nauseous, lose weight and suffer. Cannabis eased Dan's suffering before he died last year. Cannabis gave Dan control over the brutal side effects of chemotherapy, and a renewed strength to keep fighting.
Every day across Australia, hundreds of people like Dan's mum Lucy Haslam are forced to choose between breaking the law or using the best medicine for their loved one. I
The work of Dan, Lucy and their family and supports has been an integral part of the campaign to ensure this medicine is available to those who need it.