While thousands of Australians, and every published poll shows that most people support the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis - the Australian government has just blocked the people of Norfolk Island from growing it for medical use.
It’s shocking news for people like the Haslam’s - who’ve been fighting for legal change so they can get on with helping their terminally ill son Dan cope with cancer.
The Hon Gary Hardgrave, the new Administrator of Norfolk Island, has just cancelled a license issued to Tasman Health Cannabinoids (NI) Pty Ltd ('Tascann') by Norfolk Island's Minister for Cultural Heritage and Community Services, The Hon Robin Adams MLA, to import, export, grow and produce Cannabis for medical treatments.
It’s shocking, unfair, and just wrong - and it means that for thousands of families, the challenge of trying to cope with serious terminal illnesses gets even harder.
Currently 23 States in the United States of America, Canada, Israel, the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Uruguay and Spain allow the use of medical Cannabis. It's time Australia joined them. In May 2013, a New South Wales parliamentary committee comprising members of five political parties unanimously recommended making medicinal cannabis available for selected conditions.
Its report stated: "...in general terms medical cannabis has potential as an effective treatment for some medical conditions with appropriate safeguards in place [and] cannabis products are emerging as a promising area of medicine...'
Not only is the medicinal use of cannabis growing internationally, but the economic opportunities are substantial. Colorado alone expects to take in $184 million in tax revenue within the first 18 months of legislation; public marijuana companies stocks rose 150% in 3 weeks this year; and Norfolk Island is broke and runs a budget deficit each year of about $7.2 million.
Meanwhile the new Administrator Gary Hardgrave, who studied Commerce, has just overturned an opportunity for Norfolk to supply the international community with a medical product that is supported by scientists, doctors, politicians, two-thirds of Australians and people requiring access to pain relief in situations where pharmaceutical drugs are not effective.
Australians benefit from the medical use of drugs such as morphine, ketamine, cocaine and amphetamine – despite their recreational use being prohibited. It's time for Cannabis legislation to be updated to reflect public support and scientific studies. The first step should be Administrator Hardgraves working with Tasman Health Cannabinoids to address his concerns about the license.
Please sign and share the petition; it's time everyday people had access to effective pain relief without the fear of prosecution.