A Riverina medical cannabis advocate has come out swinging against the recent passing of a private medical cannabis bill, claiming it leaves majority of patients “crying out for help”.
Narrandera herbalist and medical marijuana advocate Rach Cregan told The Daily Advertiser despite the positive movement, the bill only catered for one per cent of medicinal cannabis users.
“These people are looking for quality of life and crying out to a solution for their pain – they will still be forced to source through black market channels.”
“It is great for terminal patients but what are the other 99 per cent supposed to do?”
The Greens' private bill to make importing medicinal cannabis easier was passed in the senate in October but Ms Cregan said the spotlight should remain on the debate.
“While it seems like a win or step in the right direction it falls short,” she said.
“A lot of people are still fearful about coming forward and risk prosecution without protection.”
Ms Cregan said the bill was not a win for those struggling with illnesses in the Riverina who were not technically deemed terminal
“The government still grapples with fear based policy and impaired thinking on the topic,” she said.
“It’s good we’re moving but some are getting left behind.”
Ms Cregan has called for the government to get the legislation right.
“The Riverina is an MND and a cancer hot spot and we need protection and access for everyone,” she said.
“No one has overdosed and died from cannabis but people do from Panadol. If we make the wrong step early on it could be a nightmare to fix.”
The call comes after advocate Lucy Haslam, whose late son started using the illegal drug in his fight against cancer, called for Barnaby Joyce to choose a position in a Fairfax Media letter to the editor.
“I really think it is time you decided one way or the other where you stand and to stop being a fence sitter,” she said.