LOCAL medical marijuana champion Dan Haslam has become one of the first people in the state to receive a special cannabis licence.
Mr Haslam, 25, was granted a licence this week under the government’s Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme, just the second person in NSW to be given the exemption.
It comes after furious lobbying from Mr Haslam, his family and the wider Tamworth community for more compassionate laws surrounding medical marijuana use for the dying.
Mr Haslam’s mum Lucy Haslam said the issuing of licences was both a symbolic and practical victory for the cause.
“This was our first goal; this was the reason we were campaigning in the first place,” Mrs Haslam said.
“I wasn’t sure we’d ever see this day.
“But the movement has come so far, this is now just the first step.”
Mrs Haslam, husband Lou and Dan’s wife Alyce have also received licences, protecting them from repercussions for carrying cannabis for Dan.
Under the scheme, licence holders are exempt from prosecution for possessing up to 15 grams of cannabis leaf, 2.5 grams of cannabis resin or 1 gram of cannabis oil.
The Premier’s department this week confirmed only 11 applications had been received so far for the licences.
Mrs Haslam said that was likely due to the lack of awareness about their availability.
“My concern is that not many people know about it,” she said.
“There needs to be follow-up education after they announce these things.”
Mr Haslam, who is living with bowel cancer, uses the drug to help alleviate the crushing nausea and lack of appetite associated with chemotherapy.
The state government is organising clinical trials as it inches closer to legalising marijuana as medicine.