Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is pushing the nation’s Prime Minister to get cannabis medicines into the hands of the many patients throughout the country who need them.
Mr. Shorten recently met with medical cannabis patient Ben Oakley, who appears to have left a very positive impression on the ALP’s leader.
Ben suffers from “Stiff Person Syndrome”, a rare and incredibly painful condition. Ben found relief through cannabis oil, which he has had to resort to obtaining illegally.
However, his supply was recently threatened after a raid on the premises of a South Australian woman who had been supplying cannabis medicines at no cost to a number of people across Australia, including Ben.
“Ben and his family are inspirational, I’m going to keep pushing the Prime Minister to help Ben and hundreds of people like him – they deserve nothing less,” said Mr. Shorten in a video posted to Facebook.
Mr. Shorten appears to be making good on his commitment so far.
According to Huffington Post, Mr. Shorten has since sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, stating his concern regarding local supply of medicinal cannabis and encouraging the Australian government to seek an overseas supplier until local supplies are available.
“The Opposition would be happy to work with you in supporting any changes necessary to effect this,” Mr Shorten is quoted as stating in the letter.
In related news, Australia’s Health Minister announced two new appointments to the Australian Advisory Council On The Medicinal Use of Cannabis last week. Minister Hunt also stated work was underway to have “further” domestic supplies available.
The use of the word “further” was a little odd as it’s not clear what domestic supplies are currently available to patients – as far as we’re aware, it’s none.
However, the Victorian Government is working on a medical cannabis cultivation trial – and today it was announced the first crop has been harvested. Also announced in the last 24 hours was the Federal Government issuing its first licence to grow medical marijuana.
As we mentioned yesterday, the slow pace at which change is happening in Australia is beginning to wear thin with those who desperately need medications. This includes some of those who originally supported the legislation.
For the sakes of all those suffering, here’s hoping the pace now picks up.