Media Release –
Leader of the Australian Sex Party and Northern Metropolitan MP Fiona Patten has today questioned why the Victorian government is fast-tracking imports of medicinal cannabis at the same time Victorian compassionate suppliers are targeted for prosecution.
“The hypocrisy is astounding. The government says ‘every day without this life changing medicine is one day too long’ but they are prosecuting local suppliers that have been helping people for years.”
“We are talking about an existing, fully self-regulating, high quality industry with more than 2,000 compassionate suppliers across Australia,” said Ms Patten.
“Every year those suppliers help more than 100,000 people suffering the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis, cancer, severe epilepsy, and spasms.
“The government has finally accepted that medicinal cannabis works, so why no embrace the local industry instead of fighting against it?”
Ms Patten said the government’s own press release shows the need to start working with existing suppliers. It explains that paediatric neurologists nominated children suffering severe symptoms from intractable epilepsy who would benefit the most from medicinal cannabis. From that group, a panel chose only 29 children – the most severe of the severe.
“It’s obvious more children with intractable epilepsy could benefit, let alone children with other conditions and adults too. Every day I get calls from people asking how they can access medicinal cannabis. The government can and should be helping them.
“The severely limited approach to this life changing medicine makes no sense. We already have a local industry with ready supply.
“The Premier should stop boasting about buying overseas product and instead implement an amnesty for compassionate suppliers, make local growing and supply of medicinal cannabis easier and support local farmers and jobs.”