21 Feb 2023, 13:13
Legislative Council Victoria, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan):

This week is Australia’s very first Medicinal Cannabis Awareness Week. Aimed at reducing the stigma around this prescription medicine, both in the community and among healthcare professionals, Medicinal Cannabis Awareness Week will include announcements in the fields of training and research and of course the introduction of a bill from Legalise Cannabis Victoria to address the unfair driving laws that apply to medicinal cannabis patients. Medicinal cannabis was legalised in Victoria seven years ago, but still patients are discriminated against, refused access and forced to pay exorbitant prices for a legitimate medicine. This has to change. Where other medical options have failed, medicinal cannabis has provided life-changing relief for people suffering severe muscle spasms or severe pain resulting from multiple sclerosis; relief for people with severe pain, nausea, vomiting or wasting arising from cancer or HIV; and relief from severe epilepsy, debilitating chronic pain, insomnia and endometriosis. It is about being well, not high. It is time to stop the stigma and support patients. It is about the right to drive unimpaired. Being well or being allowed to drive – that should not be the choice. It is about the right to live and function again in Australian society.


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