Activists call for easing of access to medicinal cannabis
About two dozen people attended a rally outside OBA headquarters last night to call for the Government to ease access to medicinal cannabis.
The group, led by campaigner Alan Gordon, spoke to Premier Michael Dunkley as he left the party’s caucus meeting at 6.30pm.
Holding a paper chain bearing the words “truth, mercy, justice”, those in attendance included cancer patients calling for cannabis to ease their pain, the relatives of gravely ill patients, and concerned members of the public.
“We need to help [patients] they’re dying now without it,” Mr Gordon said. “How do you feel about people’s suffering?”
Mr Gordon said applications for compassionate cannabis permits were being ignored.
Mr Dunkley, accompanied by OBA Senator Jeff Baron, addressed the crowd and answered questions for about 20 minutes.
“I appreciate anyone who has a voice and wants to speak out,” Mr Dunkley said. “I always try to be available and engage in constructive dialogue.
“I’ve been disappointed in some social media content I’ve seen, it hasn’t been factual and there’s been a bit of prevarication in there.
“I’ve been accused of many things but I don’t play with the facts.
“I have compassion for anyone who is unwell or ill. I will do everything I can to help people in an appropriate way.”
Mr Dunkley said changes to cannabis laws had to be dealt with through “proper dialogue”.
“I’ve got to follow the law going forward,” he said. “We are moving forward with medicinal marijuana, I will not be pushed into any timeline.”
Mr Dunkley told the crowd applications for a compassionate cannabis permit could be submitted to the Government, and had to be supported by a doctor.
Mr Gordon called for a less complicated and more accessible licensing procedure, and criticised many of the Island’s doctors as being unwilling to support medical marijuana for patients who are in pain.
“Patients shouldn’t have to suffer,” he said.
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