AU: Campaigner Concerned That Cannabis Law Changes Will Hinder Patient Access


Conditions surrounding State law changes to medicinal cannabis are so stringent that thousands of sick patients are likely to go untreated, according to a Manning Valley campaigner.

Craig Goodwin of Kundle Kundle called law changes enabling NSW doctors to prescribe cannabis products to seriously ill patients “a step forward”.

But he fears a lack of cohesion between lawmakers and general practitioners will inhibit patients getting access to the products, with many local doctors not knowing “anything about cannabis” or the process of prescribing it.

“It’s a step in the right direction, people are going to be able to access something, but we’re still a long way off what people want,” said Mr Goodwin.

Mr Goodwin, who spent 10 months in jail throughout 2013 and 2014 on cannabis cultivation, supply and possession charges, said there’d be “thousands” of people in the Manning and Great Lakes areas who want access to the treatment.

Mr Goodwin stated that the lengthy prescription process meant people will die while on the waiting list.

“It’s a band-aid solution while patients are still being persecuted,” Mr Goodwin said.

“They’re coming down harder on black-market supplies of medicinal cannabis products.”

There is no defined list of patients who will be eligible for prescription, with NSW Health Minister Pru Goward saying that terminally ill and chemotherapy patients would be able to access products.

“People who are sick and dying shouldn’t be given this as a last resort, it should be given as an option for treatment,” Mr Goodwin said.

Mr Goodwin isn’t the only person with ties to the Manning determined to push cannabis reform.

In June 2015 Taree-raised Barry Lambert and his wife Joy donated $33.7 million to help fund medicinal cannabinoid research at the University of Sydney.

Following his trial last year Mr Goodwin said he would look to get into the political side of reform, something he has done through his involvement with the United Medical Cannabis Front Of Australia, a medicinal cannabis co-op.

“We are to going to keep chipping away at it until we get it right,” he said.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Campaigner Concerned That “Band-Aid Solution” Cannabis Law Changes Will Hinder Patient Access
Author: Lachlan Leeming
Contact: Manning River Times
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Website: Manning River Times