What we have learned through our advocacy:
- That history shows cannabis Prohibition was based on propaganda, greed and self interest and there was never any scientific evidence to back up the reasons for banning its use; and that Prohibition of cannabis continues to harm good people and that the benefits of creating a legal market would far out weigh the risks of doing so;
- That many in our society today suffer from endocannabinoid deficiency because cannabis has been missing from our diet for over 80 years. Organically grown cannabis as a food source could correct and help prevent many conditions that are now being scientifically attributed to this deficiency. This in turn would reduce spending on the health budget;
- That the entourage effect of whole plant extracts is VITAL to the healing properties of Cannabis when used medicinally and it should be our right access and use whole plant natural cannabis for preventative and curative measures if we so choose;
- That cannabis use is much more prevalent than is reported in drug surveys or the media; it causes less harm to society and less carnage on our roads than many legal or pharmaceutical options which are commonly taken in tandem;
- That it is time to put the gateway, mental health and reefer madness propaganda to bed. Cannabis is now proving itself to be the gateway to good health and a treatment option for some mental health conditions. It is a much more society-friendly recreational choice for those who do not respond well to alcohol.
- International evidence shows that cannabis has contributed to lowering dependence on opioids and thus helping to relieve the opioid crisis
- Real Cannabis Law Reform is long overdue and that not only patients and carers, but society in general would benefit if cannabis were legalised, taxed and regulated in a similar way to beer. This would ensure an ongoing supply for patients who could grow their own condition- specific strain; and would reduce wasteful spending on the War on Drugs by freeing up the police and the judiciary to concentrate on REAL crime.
- in other jurisdictions that have legalised cannabis for adult use, the sky has not fallen. They have skirted the outdated UN Treaties by ignoring or rejecting them or by negotiating or having a public vote. But Australian politicians at both levels of government prefer to use our “obligation” to these as a cop-out excuse.
- Patients need to work together if access is to be forthcoming. Government approved activism has got us to this point but not all activist organisations can agree on the best way forward. Through extensive involvement and interaction with 17, 700 members of the cannabis community, the majority of whom are forced access illegal supply, the general consensus is that separating recreational use and medical use is an absurdity and that the best and preferred option by the MAJORITY of PATIENTS is to legalise cannabis for adult use as proposed by the Australian Greens, the Liberal Democrats and the HEMP Party.
- Cannabis has been used as a Recreational therapy by over 3 million Australians on a regular basis for decades for the relief of Stress. Recreation is an established and legitimate therapy for the relief of stress which can lead to all kinds of physical health problems. All users, no matter what the intent, are targeted by police and in order for this to stop we support legalisation is the answer. This would create an income stream for govt rather than suck the life out of the budget on the continuance of the current failed war on drugs.
- Currently we are being swamped by an avalanche of cannabis speciality clinics that are connected with products imported from large international corporations. The cost of consultations and price of products is prohibitive to the greater majority of patients, many of who are financially disadvantaged due to illness; and who believe they should be able to choose to grow this herb “free of charge” for food and medicine (or have someone grow for them) without fear or threats of police intervention.
- There is currently NO legal defence for possession and production for medical use under the drug laws; or for exemption from prosecution under the roadside Random Drug Testing (RDT) regime which tests ONLY for presence of THC and NOT driver impairment. There needs to be a moratorium on arrests and a closer look at roadside RDT operations which appear to be more drug law related than road safety orientated.
- And finally we have learned that The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights states: The Australian Government commits to international agreements about human rights which recognise everyone’s right to have the highest possible standard of physical and mental health. One of the charters key components is I have a right to be included in decisions and choices about my care. When governments mandate that all other treatments must be exhausted before cannabis can be approved this appears to be a violation of our chartered rights.
MCUA Aims & Objectives
- To collect and disseminate information about the medicinal benefits of cannabis as a possible alternative or adjunct to conventional pharmaceuticals for the treatment of a variety of conditions and ailments. In many cases Cannabis can offer better patient outcomes in terms of less side-effects that results in a better quality of life.
- To educate Australians at a grass roots level, especially our seniors, about the benefits of consuming fresh “raw” cannabis and organically grown hemp seed products that can prevent illness, maintain good health and relieve symptoms of ill health.
- To advocate for affordable supply of whole plant herbal products for ALL patients INCLUDING the right to home grow; allowing smaller producers to enter the market to supply not for profit co-ops / dispensary models; and for over-the-counter herbal complimentary medicines.
- To continue to place pressure Governments as a group, for cannabis law reform that allows people to choose health care options without the threat or fear of prosecution and being penalised.
Now, is to work toward the establishment of a Cannabis access model that is fair, sustainable, affordable and acceptable. It must be patient centred, rather than industry based and it should be a herbal, rather than a pharmaceutical model.
This could be accomplished using existing legislation to create a herbal delivery system via the Complementary medicine pathway, that could co-exist with the present clinical model. It would allow for grow rights and would cater for low cost production by smaller licensed producers, allowing them to enter the market to supply patients at a local level.