It’s been three years since the federal government introduced new legislation for access to medicinal cannabis for seriously ill patients.
It was a huge milestone. A year earlier, my son, Dan, passed away from bowel cancer. He was just 25 years old. My husband and I have tirelessly campaigned to help other sick patients access medicinal cannabis ever since.
The bill was called 'Dan's Law' and I was once so proud of what we achieved. But little did we know that it was the first step in a very long journey.
Over these years only a few thousand sick Australians have managed to get approval for cannabis or cannabis products. There’s thousands and thousands of chronically and terminally ill patients still suffering and in unnecessary pain, or forced to buy cannabis medicine on the black market.
Red tape, a lack of government commitment to ensure safe and efficient access for both patients and practitioners has left a complete mess in its trail. What was once a beacon of hope for patients with a wide range of serious and debilitating conditions, Dan’s Law has been a political hot potato ever since and a horrible mess left behind.
We established United In Compassion (UIC) to help us continue our advocacy and education once the bill passed - but didn’t know how much work we would have on our hands. What I thought would be a sprint has turned into a marathon!
We need to #FixDansLaw and need your help. At UIC we receive no government funding and we have incredibly limited resourcing. We simply can’t do it all alone.
We’ve come a long way, but as a priority we need to:
1. Bring the voice of current patients in desperate need of relief to the forefront of the agenda, supporting them and their families to help address misinformation about medicinal cannabis 2. Address the lack of prescriber doctors to help get medicinal cannabis in the hands of those who need it. Funding the delivery of an educational course for health professionals will help them navigate the system. The syllabus is already written and accredited ...we just need to get it out there 3. Fund legal representation to help us understand the legalities with the delays and help with new policies that will help us work to fix the barriers 4. Continue to deliver our annual symposium that draws in key medical, research and industry figures and stakeholders to help cut the red tape. Our October 2020 event is locked in at the ICC in Sydney. It will take me 12 months to organise and we have some big names confirmed 5. Continue our engagement with Canberra and ensuring we are driving, and are present at, relevant conversations about the bill 6. Launch our second documentary to highlight just how critical this issue is. We recently launched High As Mike, which was incredibly well received
Medicinal cannabis was the only medicine that provided Dan with some relief from suffering. As a mother and a nurse I can’t bear to see millions of others globally suffer too. Please can you chip in towards our #FixingFund to help create history?