Imagine you are the mother of 9 year-old Tara, she is slight for her age and feels even smaller when her body is convulsing uncontrollably in your arms. Her eyes are rolled to the back of her head and she is frothing at the mouth. You act quickly to ensure she does not swallow her tongue while having a fit but the risk of a sudden unexplained death in epilepsy is beyond your control. Now imagine this happening up to 100 times a day. This is the dire situation for little Tara who suffers from Dravet Syndrome; she experienced life-threatening seizures all day every day until she started taking medical cannabis in 2012.
Medicinal marijuana is a modern day miracle yet it is much maligned due to ignorance. We all know cannabis is a recreational drug used to get high by some people, yet few people realise the medicinal qualities of this plant, nor do they know that it can be cultivated with almost no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) thereby removing the trigger for psychosis.
In this form, medical cannabis can actually relieve pain; alleviate symptoms and treat a wide range of diseases. It is widespread ignorance that prohibits the legislation of medical marijuana and, sadly, criminalises the actions of desperate families such as Tara's. Medical cannabis should be legalised. Our democratically elected government has the responsibility of providing the best health care for all citizens of Australia and should not bow to ignorance and fear. The government should over see and regulate the dispensation of medical marijuana as many foreign governments around the globe have already done. Legalisation of medical cannabis will actually bolster our laws, make economic sense and reduce the suffering of thousands of Australians.
Last week the Victorian labour leader Daniel Andrews threw his support behind legalising medical...