Australia: Advocates Push For Better And Safe Access To Medicinal Cannabis

Photo Credit: Piper Denholm

A regional advocate from Moonta, Dianah Walter was invited to attend and speak at Adelaide’s first Inaugural Hemp and Cannabis Expo.

This is the first opportunity of its nature to arise in South Australia and through a presentation, Dianah aimed to empower the audience to have the courage to share their stories with those who can influence change.

“Personal narratives are powerful instruments of change. Respectful lobbying and activism is a commanding way to hear. You don’t always have to raise your voice to be heard, it’s often those who are quietly spoken and considered in their approach who are listened to.”

Following the recent announcement that the first licences were approved to farm industrial hemp in South Australia, Dianah also found it important to address the stale stigma of prohibition and black market, which provides a negative connotation to cannabis.

With its variable health uses and benefits, Dianah saw it fit to address the need for better patient access to safe and affordable medical cannabis.

“Increasingly, even though we have a legal framework to access medical cannabis, there are still significant challenges for health consumers in finding safe and affordable patient access pathways to medical cannabis.”

“I heard many first hand accounts of health consumer’s challenges in terms of access and affordability. Strikingly, there is still a huge need for health professional’s education and affordable access. The cost- if approved, is out of reach for so many it need not be.”

Along her efforts of advocacy, Dianah will be speaking with Federal member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey and other local members across the region about how there is no medicinal cannabis products lawfully manufactured in Australia, with the legal frameworks for access now delegated for regulation in each individual state and territory.

“Following the Commonwealth Legislative changes in 2016, medicinal cannabis products for therapeutic use that meet the Therapeutic Goods Administration standards will be considered for use on prescription in South Australia when prescribed by a medical practitioner with the required approvals and dispensed by a pharmacist”, Dianah explained.

There are only a limited number of products lawfully made overseas that may be approved for import and the legislative changes allow for the cultivation and manufacture of local, medicinal cannabis products and with these opportunities, Dianah believes there is a massive market opportunity in Australia.

The presentation she delivered was perceived as hugely positive, with many people now inspired to tell their stories and not feel as voiceless.

“I hope that my words and my voice will now assist those to find their own and to frame those very positive conversations for change.”