The Nick Xenophon Team and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation have slammed the door on terminally ill patients fighting for faster access to the medical cannabis prescribed by their doctor, leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said.
“The Special Access Scheme gives faster access to medicinal cannabis for terminal patients. Today the Nick Xenophon team and One Nation joined the Government to cut it off,” he said.
“I am so disappointed that these politicians couldn’t put the needs of terminally ill patients above their own political games.
“Patients are currently waiting weeks and sometimes months for access to these treatments. This motion could have reduced that to a day or possibly hours.
“For some of these patients, speedy access to medicinal cannabis is the difference between being able to eat or wasting away.
“These changes add time, stress, and difficulty for terminally ill patients accessing medicinal cannabis.
“I see people right across the country enduring the same sort of awful pain and suffering that young Dan Haslam and his family had to endure. There is a human cost to not acting. Any unnecessary bureaucratic red tape is cruel and has the effect of driving patients to the black market.
“I’ve worked with Lucy Haslam, Dan’s mother, on this issue for a long time. The experience Lucy and Dan went through is harrowing. It is our responsibility to make these effective treatments safely and consistency available to those patients who need it, when they need it.
“Terminally ill patients who are using medicinal cannabis to alleviate their suffering have been let down.
“We will not be giving up this fight. The Greens will continue to pursue meaningful advances until we have a system where Australian patients have a reliable, pain-free pathway for accessing the treatments they need.
“I wonder how Queensland One Nation’s Steve Dickson will look himself in the mirror tomorrow, reflecting on his defection from LNP to One Nation, having joined on the basis of ‘their medicinal cannabis platform’, only to sell patients down the river at the first opportunity.”