Break the law? Or watch helplessly as your child suffers life-threating seizures?
It’s a decision no parent should have to make but, as the debate surrounding the use of medicinal marijuana in Australia intensifies, it might be one they will not have to in future.
Just days after Melbourne couple Cassie Batten and Rhett Wallace met with child protection officers to explain why they were giving cannabis oil to their three-year-old son, the Victorian Labor Party announced they would push to decriminalise the medical form of the drug should they be elected.
Victorian Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says people with life-threatening conditions should be able to access the drug lawfully.
If Labor is elected on November 29, they will move to allow patients to access a liquid or tablet form of the drug. They will not decriminalise the smoking of marijuana for medicinal use.
“Children are in pain, families are suffering, people are living in fear, and outdated laws are getting in the way,” Mr Andrews says.
The move follows a number of public campaigns by Victorian families who wish to treat their chronically ill children with cannabis oil.
These families include Cassie Batten and Rhett Wallace who had their house raided by police after they were discovered using cannabis oil to treat their son Cooper, 3, who was suffering from hundreds of severe seizures each day.
The family was using the drug under doctor’s supervision but police seized the supply and the case was referred to child protection.
David and Cheri O’Connell have also been treating their nine-year-old daughter Tara with cannabis oil and believe she would not be alive without it.
“We need a (framework) so that we can walk into a chemist and pick up a script just like we would for any other drug that we use,” Mrs O’Connell told the media.
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