Australia is a dynamic and progressive country in many aspects. However, it is still one whose laws are very rigid regarding marijuana possession and use. Though the plant is widely grown and used for recreational purposes, the penalties for dealing in it for whatever reason are massive.
This puts families and individuals with medical conditions in dire need of the plant’s extractions and derivatives in a difficult situation.
So Is Marijuana Legal in Australia?
One story shared with us by a customer exposes the dilemma faced by many such people. It is not easy to access medical marijuana, especially if one does not want anything to do with underground suppliers and cartels.
Tara is an eight-year-old girl suffering from Dravet Syndrome, a severe epilepsy condition that affects kids and whose victims rarely reach their 10th birthdays. Tara’s parents Cheri and David O’Connell are a worried couple, because there is a likelihood that the supply of medical marijuana that has kept their girl seizure free for close to a year is going to stop soon and, with it, the joy they have become accustomed to.
Medical marijuana brought hope to them in their darkest moments. Tara was experiencing up to 200 seizures daily, and her doctors had warned that she was not likely to live past seven. However, a few days after putting her on marijuana medication, everything changed for the better. Even Child Neurology doctor Lindsay Smith described her recovery as “nothing short of miraculous.”
The O’Connells are now able to take their girl out, something they only dreamed of before. She is even able to attend part-time school now. After these developments, they thought they had only her intellectual impairment to deal with, but it seems they were wrong.
The cause of their worries is the arrest of Mr. Anthony David Bower, the one person who has been providing them with the medicinal marijuana for their daughter. Mr. Bower is not allowed to continue growing and supplying marijuana. This is despite the fact that he has been supplying families with needy patients without asking for any payment.
With supplies to last them only a few months, the O’Connells are in despair, not knowing what to do next.
Ms. O’Connell said that, “If he’s jailed for two years, then that’s it: game over, Tara will die. I’m so angry. We can’t really make any plans anymore; we don’t know what the future holds.”
Before this turn of events, Mr. Bower’s Mulaways Medical Cannabis was the only registered medical marijuana establishment in Australia. He supplied the medication to hundreds of other families.
The hope and prayer of Ms. O’Connell’s family are that the Therapeutic Goods Administration will conduct medical trials to examine the effectiveness of the plant in treating conditions like Tara’s. This will unlock the necessary policy and legal change regarding cultivation, possession and use of marijuana, especially for medicinal use.