MEDICINE NEEDED: Katrina Spraggon with her 8-year-old daughter Kaitlyn
MEDICINE NEEDED: Katrina Spraggon with her 8-year-old daughter Kaitlyn Vicki Wood

Medicinal marijuana 'easier than ever' to access

COAST mother Katrina Spraggon has been routinely breaking the law for more than two years and said she had no intention of stopping.

Her eight-year-old daughter Kaitlyn suffers a multitude of health problems, including life-threatening seizures, which her mother has only been able to control using black market marijuana oils.

Last month, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced he had been deeply affected by stories like Ms Spraggon's and said he would make it easier for patients to access medicinal marijuana.

In theory, this would mean Ms Spraggon could apply to immediately receive marijuana-derived medicines once they have been stockpiled in Australia, so long as she had a current prescription.

In practice, she said the announcement would not change her situation.

"I'm not getting anywhere. I'm back to square one," she said.

"I can't take her off (her current medication), which has been saving her life for two years now, to try another medication.

"I've tried Kaitlyn on a different strain (of marijuana oil) before and I almost lost her."

While other supporters of the drug have cautiously welcomed the move as a step in the right direction, concerns have also been raised over the type and cost of the imported products.

Buderim-based marijuana advocate Rebecca Bridson said there were still a lot of questions that needed to be answered before families using black market medicine could safety switch to the legal product.

"What we have to remember that with cannabis medicine is that it's not 'one size fits all'," she said.

"By making it available quicker, they're acknowledging there is no harm in cannabis medicine, so I question why they're not giving amnesty."

On the morning of his announcement, Mr Hunt admitted the supply would not be available "overnight" but said he expected Australia would have a store of imported medicine within eight weeks.

Ms Bridson said that was not good enough.

"People need it now, not in eight weeks - and I bet you my bottom dollar it won't be here in eight weeks," she said.

"What do they expect people to do, die waiting?"

Buderim MP Steve Dickson said he would keep up the pressure for amnesty and the cultivation of marijuana in Queensland.


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