News

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.
There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis. Lumineux_Images

CONFUSION over medical marijuana will result in sick people being jailed for trying to buy treatment illegally, the Nimbin Hemp Embassy has warned.

The organisation's president, Michael Balderstone, said a workshop being held in the village today aimed to provide clear advice.

 

"We keep getting visitors who think medical cannabis bought on the streets is legal now," Mr Balderstone said.

"It is not, and people continue to get busted daily ... in fact more than ever before."

 

Patients can now consult their usual treating specialist and discuss legal therapeutic options.

Cannabis-based medicines prescribed by doctors and legally dispensed have been made to strict quality and safety standards, and are managed in the same way as other legal medicines.

But actually obtaining the medical marijuana can be difficult.

 

A NSW Health spokesperson said the product could either be imported from a legal source overseas according to the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 or, in due course, lawfully produced in Australia under the amended Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.

The spokesperson went on to say products accessed from unregulated sources, including oils, tinctures and plant material, could include harmful substances, and "will not be authorised through this pathway".

However Mr Balderstone said many patients chose to use the local black market because it was easier, faster and much cheaper.

He said the government's plans - including giving licences to growers and manufactures - would eventually see medical marijuana available at local chemists, but his fear is this could take more than a year to implement.

In the meantime, it is illegal to grow marijuana for personal use, even if you are registered to receive it.

 

Mr Balderstone said the confusion and difficulties around the issue would result in more and more patients being jailed for illegally obtaining medical marijuana products.

 

Police officers have been given some extraordinary powers in relation to this matter.

The government's Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme now extends to adults with a terminal illness.

 

Under the scheme police officers can use their discretion to not charge adults with terminal illnesses who use cannabis to alleviate their symptoms, as well as carers who assist them.

For Mr Balderstone, more dialogue is needed.

"The government plans to have it legally available by the end of this year," he said.

"That means licencing growers and manufacturers, while they also have to train doctors and chemists.

"All the while they are ignoring the 50 years' experience Australian growers have.

"There's a huge cannabis culture waiting in the shadows with 100,000 jobs, we estimate, waiting to happen if they regulate the industry like in America. But they're giving it all to big business."

 

Michael Lambert, who has grown pot to stop his five-year-old's daughter's seizures, has faced the criminal justice system. His family has also given a record $34 million grant to create a cannabis research centre at Sydney University.

He will be speaking about his experience at Nimbin Hemp Embassy's MEDICAN workshop today.

 

The workshop starts at 11am in the village hall.

Topics:  general-seniors-news marijauna medical medicinal whatson



Greyhound reform recommendations to be adopted

Race 8, winner was No 3, Nangar Thunder at the Grafton Greyhound track on Saturday, 21st January, 2017.

All but one of the 122 recommendations of the panel to be adopted

Five artists we want to see at Splendour 2017

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Is it too much to ask? What do you think?

Local Partners

Five artists we want to see at Splendour 2017

It's a good thing that three out of five music acts in our wish list are Australian, so maybe we are not asking for too much?

Splendour tickets on sale this weekend for locals

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Are you in the area allowed to purchase them?

The Lyrical, beyond the 'F' word

Roots, Hip-Hop and Reggae artist Karl Smith, also known as The Lyrical.

Hiphop artist brings his latest music to the area

Paul Capsis to reopen Brunswick Picture House

Cabaret performer Paul Capsis will perform at Lismore City Hall on December 29.

Cabaret star brings back his latest solo show

Married at First Sight's controversial groom laying low

MAFS’ Anthony chooses to stay with wife Nadia at their vow renewal.

Anthony in hiding after backlash over his MAFS appearance

Seven, Nine’s crazy cyclone battle

Ruth Western ain't got time for Cyclone Debbie.

Reporters are battling fierce winds, and locals who won’t play ball.

MAFS bride shops around new love story

Nadia Stamp has put a price tag on her new man.

Nadia is shopping her $4000 new man ... and it’s not Anthony.

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Dalwood waterfall up for sale

Two people have died at Dalwood Falls, Ballina.

How would you like to own your very own waterfall?

Northern Rivers homes are hot property

SCENIC: Byron Bay was one of the suburbs that recorded a median house sale price in excess of $1 million.

Low stock levels and high demand keeps market buoyant.

Plenty of properties to thumb through in tomorrow's paper

Find your dream home in our property guide in tomorrow's Weekend Star.

Grab a cuppa, get the Weekend Star and check out the property pages

Five Northern Rivers homes under $250k

These Northern Rivers properties are under $250,000.

To quell the depressing news of Byron Bay's 'average' $1m homes

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!