A follow-up to a popular Australian documentary on medical marijuana is in the works – but needs financial support.
Back in 2014, 24-year-old Dan Haslam was dying from bowel cancer – and the only thing that helped address his chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting was cannabis. But at the time, medicinal cannabis still wasn’t legal in Australia.
Dan was breaking the law in using medicinal cannabis, and his mother Lucy Haslam, a nurse, was a “criminal for supplying it for him”. The situation resulted in a group called “United in Compassion” being formed to put pressure on the government to make medicinal cannabis legal for sick, dying and suffering Australian patients.
A documentary called “A Life Of Its Own” was also created that helped promote conversation in Australia about the need for change and began to educate health professionals about the endocannabinoid system.
On the first anniversary of Dan’s death in 2016, Australian laws were changed.
While medicinal cannabis is easier to access in Australia in 2023, it still isn’t easy – and can be quite expensive. Many more politicians and health professionals may be on board, but there are still many who aren’t and “refuse to acknowledge the evidence before their eyes,” states Ms. Haslam.
United in Compassion has continued to work towards overcoming the barriers that still exist, including the ongoing stigma associated with cannabis used medicinally.
“Australian patients are demonstrating their need for an alternative to pharmaceuticals by turning to cannabis in their thousands,” says Ms. Haslam. “We would like to continue to inform, educate and support those patients in a way that is scientifically factual, and evidence based.”
Ten years on from the first documentary, journalist Helen Kapalos and United in Compassion want to tell the rest of the story through a sequel that will delve into various aspects of the medicinal cannabis sector and include personal experiences.
“This, we hope will help so many Australian patients to improve their access and therefore their quality of life.”
A GoFundMe page has been established for the documentary project, which is seeking to raise $250,000.