Greens health spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC has today condemned the Weatherill Government for failing to act on medical cannabis reform, saying this demonstrates the Premier’s lack of leadership on the issue - and is already rendering South Australians to medical refugee status.
Ms Franks will introduce a motion in the Upper House this afternoon calling on the Government to follow the lead of Premiers interstate by acting on medical cannabis reform.
“Where is the leadership in South Australia on this issue when we know there are real families with sick children leaving this state?” Ms Franks asked.
“These medical refugees aren’t a myth – this is a reality for families, including one Victor Harbor family who have gone all the way to Canada so that two of their girls can receive cannabis treatment for a degenerative lung disease.
“They’ve been assessed, they have prescriptions in Canada, what they don’t have is the ability to medicate their children legally in Australia so they don’t die.
“We risk seeing a further exodus of people from the state if the Government continues to be M.I.A on this issue.
“More than a dozen countries including Canada, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain and parts of the United States already permit the use of medical cannabis and there is a significant body of research supporting its benefits to treat serious medical conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and chronic pain.
“The Premiers of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland are all acting in the interests of people who are suffering needlessly, while this Government arrogantly ignores the momentum for change.
“Today we have an announcement that the WA Health Minister wants to examine options so that their state could potentially link in with the national trials. This follows an announcement from the Andrews Government in Victoria that they will take steps to legalise cannabis cultivation in response to a landmark report from the Victorian Law Reform Commission recommending a controlled licensing scheme to produce medical cannabis – a move Premier Andrews described as one of his proudest days in politics.
“And, we know that federally, a cross-party group of MPs, including Greens Leader Senator Richard di Natale, is calling for a Regulator of Medical Cannabis, and want his Bill on the issue brought to a vote next month.
“Innocent children should not be the political plaything of this Government. It’s time for the Weatherill Government to make medical cannabis reform a priority,” Ms Franks concluded.