Apparently our friends down under have had enough of letting sick people suffer because they can’t legally access medical marijuana. In early October, Sussan Ley, the federal health minister of Australia, announced that she was going to seek support from the parliament to change the Narcotics Drugs Act of 1967 to allow cultivation and importation of medical marijuana. There’s a very good chance of that going well because Sussan already has an incredible amount of support from Australia’s citizens.
Cannabis campaigners have been eager for a change to these unfair laws against patients who rely on the drug for pain. A petition was started on change.org to decriminalize the drug for medical use about two years ago and was signed by more than 246,000 people. This petition was started by a retired nurse that lost her son to terminal cancer in February. He used cannabis to ease his pain. She couldn’t believe how much more tolerable his life became with the help of cannabis. Although the petition definitely got people talking, it is still shocking how supportive Australians really are of medical marijuana.
In a recent poll of 644 Australians aged 14 and above they found that only 7% of them thought that medical marijuana should not be made legal. There were a few unsure people, but a whopping 91% said that it should be made legal. On top of that, people over 50 were actually the most supportive group surveyed with over 94% supporting legalization. This might sound surprising, but it makes sense when you remember that their demographic is the most susceptible to most of the illnesses medical marijuana can help with. Despite Australia’s massive support for medical marijuana, their government has made it clear that they do not plan to legalize the plant recreationally. Australians seem echo that sentiment by having a good understanding of consuming cannabis for medical purposes. That’s why, in the same poll, over 30% of the participants didn’t think that smoking medical marijuana should be legalized. Either way the most important thing is to get the medicine to the people that need it, and Australia is planning on doing just that.