Pubdate: Mon, 20 Apr 2015
Source: Cairns Post (Australia)
Copyright: 2015 The Cairns Post Pty. Ltd.
Page: 14


PAIN relief for families with suffering loved ones may be just around
the corner, following Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's announcement
that Queensland will join NSW's medicinal trials of cannabis.

The State Government needs to be congratulated, at the very least, for
having the courage to put this controversial issue to the test - to
see whether marijuana, when administered under medical supervision,
does actually make a difference - for the better - to people's lives.

Marijuana has long been outlawed in Australia but the case is building
to have the drug decriminalised for those seeking an escape from
chronic pain.

Elyshia Hickey is such a person, in constant pain from Ehlers-Danlos
Syndrome, which with she and younger sister Emily are afflicted.

The 19-year-old - in Cairns Hospital obtaining treatment to manage the
rare disease affecting her joints - wants to be among the first in
Queensland to trial medical cannabis as an alternative tool for pain

Allowing people such as Elyshia access to a drug that will ease her
suffering is not only a humanitarian issue, it is also one of resources.

There is a substantial cost associated with helping the thousands of
Queenslanders who suffer chronic pain to manage their conditions, with
the University of Queensland estimating a cost to Australia's economy
in the order of $34 billion each year.

Medicinal marijuana would help free up some of these resources.

With action to decriminalise the drug now happening at federal and
state levels, families in need of relief may no longer be treated as
criminals when all they want to do is help their loved ones live
normal lives.
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