Janet Cavanaugh's nephew is on the 2016 medicinal marijuana trial.
Janet Cavanaugh's nephew is on the 2016 medicinal marijuana trial. Chris Ison

Medicinal marijuana policy is personal for Greens candidate

THE introduction of medicinal marijuana is a policy heavily backed by the Greens, and for Clarence Greens candidate Janet Cavanaugh, the policy is personal.

Ms Cavanaugh's 13-year-old nephew suffers epileptic encephalopathy, severe brain disorders where epileptic electrical discharges may contribute to motor dysfunction.

"He can't speak, he is still in nappies and needs constant supervision," Ms Cavanaugh said.

"He is 13 and is at the level of an 18-month-old."

Ms Cavanaugh said the parents tried a number of treatments to reduce frequency and severity of the fits.

"One time they got medicine imported with Ministerial discretion from the US that is not available in Australia."

The medicine only slightly reduced the frequency of her nephew's epileptic fits.

He is 13 and is at the level of an 18-month-old.

He is enrolled in the 2016 medicinal marijuana trial at the Westmead and Sydney Children's Hospitals for children with epilepsy and terminally ill adults.

Ms Cavanaugh said for people not on the trial, they would have to wait until 2020 before they had access to medicinal marijuana.

"Medical trials take years. We may not have medicinal cannabis available until 2020," she said.

Do you think marijuana should be made legal in Australia?

This poll ended on 06 March 2015.

Current Results

No. Not in any case.

4%

Only for medicinal purposes.

24%

Yes, it should be legal.

70%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"We are reflecting the frustration of a lot of people who are in pain."

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said he would like the laws changed faster so people had access to medicinal marijuana.

"Cannabis is effective for pain relief, either on its own, or as a way to reduce the escalating cycle of use of more harmful pharmaceuticals," Dr Kaye said.

"Cannabis has fewer side effects than the opioid drugs like morphine and Oxychodone. It is irrational and cruel to criminalise patients who are obtaining relief from chronic non-cancer pain using medicinal cannabis." A National Drug and Alcohol Centre study published in December 2014 showed cannabis can provide more relief for some pain than conventional treatments.



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