Premier Mike Baird was eager to show his support for medical cannabis, at least to his public. Now, we hear that the sick children he posed with for publicity photos still have no access to medical cannabis.
He claimed to be proud of research into medical cannabis, expressing hope that there would soon be a better future for kids like Tyler Oldenburg. The parents of these kids, including the Oldenburgs, feel they have been used as a cheap publicity stunt says Buzzfeed News.
The Greenlight campaign speaks out
Tyler’s parents are part of the group. At the Greenlight campaign gathering at the Sydney’s Ethics Centre to protest for better access to medical cannabis, Mathew and Nicole Oldenburg spoke about their struggle to access medical marijuana.
Tyler has epilepsy. He has up to 40 seizures a day. He has cerebral palsy and impaired vision. However, more than one doctor has told his parents his condition doesn’t qualify for medical cannabis trials or a prescription. Apparently, his condition isn’t severe enough!
Not “severe” enough for access to medical cannabis
The Oldenburgs tried to contact Baird on endless occasions, to no avail. Tyler was not the only child who was given hope by Baird in 2015. Bethany, daughter of Karen Edwards, met him too. They are also part of the Greenlight campaign. Doctors also claimed Bethany’s condition didn’t warrant medical cannabis. Her seizures have caused brain damage, says Karen. So, what would be severe enough to warrant medical cannabis?
Karen gave Bethany medical cannabis oil illegally for 12 months and saw great improvement in her condition. Her seizures decreased dramatically. But after arrests and police raids in connection with medical cannabis, Karen became afraid and stopped the treatment.
Patients are still treated like criminals
Another well-known medicinal cannabis proponent, Lucy Haslam, mom of Dan who died of cancer two years ago, also spoke out on behalf of The Greenlight campaign. She said that patients who could be helped by access to medical cannabis are being left out in the cold. Meanwhile, those who want to help them are treated as pariahs.
Many of the parents hoping to secure access to medical cannabis for their kids don’t even want THC. Instead, they want CBD. This cannabinoid doesn’t even make kids high, so what’s the problem?
It is legal but impossible to get
Lucy is frustrated that two years after Dan’s death, nothing has changed. There is still no access to medical cannabis for kids who need it. She argues that the government is putting out mixed messages. They “legalize” medicinal cannabis one day, and the next they make access to medical cannabis nearly impossible.
Medical cannabis in NSW is going nowhere
The Special Access scheme’s category A for patients with life-threatening conditions includes all other unregistered therapeutic drugs, just not cannabis. Terminal patients must go through the painstaking and exhausting Category B process. Dr. Alex Wodak said unless government changes drug laws, access to medical cannabis will be nothing but a pipe dream.