Cannabis coup: Medical marijuana reform a ‘runaway train’, says Haslam | WEEKLY POLL

IMPASSIONED PLEA: Medical marijuana user Thomas Ashelford poses a question to the panel during Saturday’s final day of the 2014 Inaugural Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium at Tamworth. Photo: Barry Smith 221114BSF07
IMPASSIONED PLEA: Medical marijuana user Thomas Ashelford poses a question to the panel during Saturday’s final day of the 2014 Inaugural Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium at Tamworth. Photo: Barry Smith 221114BSF07

THE Tamworth man who inspired a national revolution on medical marijuana claims the issue has become an “unstoppable force”.

Speaking to The Leader on the second day of the Inaugural Australian Medical Cannabis Symposium in Tamworth on Saturday, 24-year-old Dan Haslam said he was more confident than ever the sick and dying would soon have legal access to marijuana.

It comes as NSW inches closer to medical marijuana reform and as three major-party federal MPs yesterday released details of a new bill to make it easier for states to legalise the drug.

“Seeing people from all over the world at this symposium has made me realise just how big an issue it is. It feels like the stress is finally lifting off our shoulders. Nothing can stop this happening now,” Mr Haslam said.

Earlier on Saturday, the symposium heard from leading US physician on medical marijuana Dr David Bearman, who slammed legislators for not acting faster on the issue.

“Cannabis is medicine and this is documented by over 4000 years of recorded history, 20,000 research studies and its use by hundreds of millions of patients,” Dr Bearman said.

“It is one of the greatest therapeutic agents known to man.”

He claimed cannabis could kill cancer cells and was an effective treatment in a broad range of disorders, including a range of mental health conditions.

Later, US-based dosing specialist Mara Gordon told the crowd Australian politicians’ reluctance to legalise medical marijuana was “criminal”.

“There is needless suffering going on throughout this country because of the inability to legally access this miraculous plant,” Ms Gordon said.

The symposium’s afternoon session saw a panel of patients and carers give moving testimonies about their experiences with medical marijuana.

Leading barrister Greg Barns, ex-Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer and Oxley Local Area Command police superintendent Clint Pheeney then revealed why the war on drugs was an unwinnable battle.

It would take only minor legal changes to decriminalise marijuana as medicine, Mr Barns said.

An exhausted but exhilarated symposium organiser Lucy Haslam hailed the event an “overwhelming success”.

“It couldn’t have gone better and it was exactly what I had envisaged,” Mrs Haslam said.

“There was so much energy, so many people and everyone was energised.

“I’m more confident than ever we are on the cusp of a change.”

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