Medical Cannabis is currently being discussed all over the country in high places and behind very closed doors. Not only by stoners but by people in suits who are popping out some weird ideas.
Like Queensland doctors have been warned not to prescribe “the strongest forms” (THC) of Cannabis to anyone under 25 years old. They also warned doctors will bear full responsibility for medical Cannabis they prescribe and emphasised that medican products are untested and their safety and efficacy are unknown. Trying hard to scare doctors away or what?
There’s no training in Cannabis organised for doctors that we know of and while they are technically now able to prescribe medicinal Cannabis there are no systems in place other than to expensively order from overseas filling out complicated forms to appease various departments. The plan is to have it available in Australian chemists by the end of the year. States get to decide who qualifies but no doubt it will be very narrow gates all round and the majority of Cannabis users will not be in the picture at all. So what will happen to us?
Unconfirmed Truths and Cannabinoids
Well, Nimbin is under attack more than ever these days which is a bit hard to swallow. As the swelling of support grows for medical Cannabis with various people and organizations asking for an amnesty we find over enthusiastic policing is all over our street almost every day rather than any sign of, “sorry hippies, you were right after all. We should have listened to you on a lot of things in fact.” (Just dreaming for a moment!) The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dismissed the idea quickly saying an amnesty was an irresponsible idea.
Most doctors have quite likely never heard of the endocannabinoid system and as Dr David Caldicott said in a recent interview, “most GPs and doctors have been told that Cannabis is terribly naughty and this is part of the problem.” Caldicott is also involved with greenlight.support, a new initiative from Barry Lambert, the man who gave $34 million to UNSW for research after seeing the extraordinary results from Cannabis on his epileptic granddaughter.
Medical users are encouraged to send in their stories to the greenlight website and further campaigns are lined up after full page adverts in the Sunday Fairfax papers recently. Interestingly the ads were lined up for the Murdoch papers but at the last minute they hiked the price up and forced them to pull out.
In the greenlight campaign Lucy Haslam and Barry Lambert, together with Epilepsy Action Australia, again asked prime minister Turnbull for an amnesty on compassionate suppliers. Rumours now abound how his wife Lucy Turnbull, who was known to enjoy a toke in her youth, is a director in a company lined up to supply the good medicine.
Supply remains the biggest hurdle for everyone and we’ll present some options to Parliamentarians when we go down for the first sitting day, Feb 7, to join the MCUA led protest “Enough is Enough”. I’ve always liked a grassroots hemployment model where all the long term unemployed stoners suddenly can get a job that makes sense to them and the experienced growers can have boutique brands.
Alternative Facts and Jobs
We estimate there’s at least a hundred thousand jobs waiting to happen in that type of regulated Cannabis industry in Australia. Maybe limit licences to supply no more than a hundred kilos, a cottage industry. If you make the limit plant numbers people grow fertilised monsters and medicine must be organic.
We all agree alcohol and tobacco are far more dangerous than weed and how do we regulate those industries? Anyone can grow their own tobacco or brew their own grog but you need a licence to sell it. Why not with Cannabis?
Politically Pauline Hanson has picked up the cause and is running with it. I now hear she is talking at the May HEMP EXPO in Sydney. Hopefully some other cross benchers will join her in getting some attention on the issue. She’s a smart opportunist and the Greens have missed what should be their ball game, social justice. Pauline has grabbed the bong and bolted with it now and we all wonder who will join her!
Meanwhile President Trump has taken down all the info on his drugs policy website and there’s plenty of speculation as to what he has in mind. Whatever it is it could change tomorrow anyway.
Last Saturday was probably the best Medican Workshop we’ve held. You can see all the talks on the Hemposium youtube channel. The Nimbin Hall is booked out at Easter so the next Workshop will be held at the old butter factory, now Nimbin’s Bush Theatre alongside the Phoenix Rising Cafe and Bringabong, just north of the village and over the river. On April 15, Easter Saturday, from 11am until 4.20 pm. It’s a terrific venue. We hope to promote the event on the coast and maybe get some visitors from down south who are in the area for Easter and the Bluesfest.