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Patrons of UIC

Olivia Newton-John
Actress & Singer

“ I am delighted to support Lucy’s compassionate campaign to make medicinal cannabis available to anyone in need. Science…

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Olivia Newton John

“ I am delighted to support Lucy’s compassionate campaign to make medicinal cannabis available to anyone in need.
Science continues to show many healing qualities of this medicinal plant. I have found it very beneficial on my cancer journey.” 

– Olivia Newton John

Mike Baird
Former Australian Politician

“I am delighted to be supporting United in Compassion. I will never forget meeting Dan…the look in his eyes; his…

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Mike Baird

“I am delighted to be supporting United in Compassion.

I will never forget meeting Dan…the look in his eyes; his determination; his understanding that there is something that can be done to take away pain and suffering.

It’s a difficult road; there are many barriers to be overcome, but we can do it and we can do it together. Let’s keep going because there is much more to do.”

– Michael Baird

Fiona Patten
Leader of REASON & a Member of Victoria’s Upper House

Fiona Patten MLC is the leader of REASON and a Member for…

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Fiona Patten

Fiona Patten MLC is the leader of REASON and a Member for the Northern Metropolitan Region in Victoria’s Upper House. 

Since being elected in November 2014, Fiona challenged her political colleagues to be compassionate, caring and courageous by successfully delivering landmark legislative changes in Victoria including Voluntary Assisted Dying, a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre trial and Save Access Zones around abortion clinics.

I have been an advocate for access to Medicinal Cannabis for many years and am honoured to lend my voice in support of United In Compassion.  In doing so I hope I can encourage politicians of all persuasions to see reason, alleviate suffering and commit to delivering this lifesaving medicine by ensuring its availability to all who need it.” 

Fiona Patten MLC 

Carol Ireland
CEO Epilepsy Action Australia

 “In my role as CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia I have had significant contact with many individuals and families…

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Carol Ireland

“In my role as CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia I have had significant contact with many individuals and families who are faced with managing very challenging forms of medication resistant epilepsy. In often dire circumstances, and with no other options left in the conventional treatment bucket, some have been willing to try anything to help reduce the severity and frequency of their seizures or those of their child.


The current debates around Cannabis are complex. I have tried to follow the various arguments and positions: from consumers, medical specialists, suppliers and politicians. Personally I am learning all the time.


What I do know is that families are desperate, wanting a safe, effective and legal form of Medicinal Cannabis which at present they are unable to access. Families often having to resort to any means possible to source a ‘non-conventional’ treatment that has given renewed hope to many. It is true that clinical trials and further researched is needed. It is true that the long term effects haven’t been investigated, and we don’t understand all the possible uses of Medicinal Cannabis for epilepsy and other conditions. This all takes time, something many people just do not have to spare.

 

I have personally heard and seen the changes in people’s lives, reduction in the severity and frequency of seizures, regaining function thought forever lost or children reaching developmental milestones never thought possible. Hope has been restored. A positive ripple reverberates through families and their community as quality of life improves. 


I strongly believe a pragmatic but compassionate approach is needed, and it is needed NOW.

Dick Smith
Businessman

“Compassionate access to Medicinal Cannabis would appear to be sensible, this issue should be dealt with, without further delay.” “No one should be suffering…

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Dick Smith

“Compassionate access to Medicinal Cannabis would appear to be sensible, this issue should be dealt with, without further delay.”

“No one should be suffering needlessly in Australia”

Dr Alex Wodak
Emeritus Consultant Physician, President – Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

“Medicinal cannabis should be lawfully provided to people suffering from distressing symptoms in conditions where there is reasonably good evidence of benefit…

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Dr Alex Wodak

“Medicinal cannabis should be lawfully provided to people suffering from distressing symptoms in conditions where there is reasonably good evidence of benefit and where conventional medicines have not brought sufficient relief and/or resulted in unacceptable side effects.

  

Guiding principles and decisions about individual cases should be made by independent doctors rather than politicians or government officials. However, compassionate access should also be available enabling provision to occur in some cases where evidence is not yet strong but where the distress is considerable and has not been relieved by conventional medicines.

 

This will require careful and wise balancing of potential benefits against the need to maintain respect for the integrity of the system. Decisions about compassionate access should be made by a panel of independent experts including at least one lay person with expert knowledge.”“Compassionate access to Medicinal Cannabis would appear to be sensible, this issue should be dealt with, without further delay.”

Dr Alex Wodak

Emeritus Consultant, Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent’s Hospital

Visiting Fellow, Kirby Institute, UNSW
President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
Director, Australia21

Roshani Priddis
Singer/Songwriter

“The legalisation of Medicinal Cannabis production and use will have far reaching and profoundly positive effects on our community. “The decriminalization of Cannabis…

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Roshani Priddis

“The legalisation of Medicinal Cannabis production and use will have far reaching and profoundly positive effects on our community. “The decriminalization of Cannabis use for those who are in need of soothing from the effects of this plant, will mean their relief will be without resistance and without guilt. Resulting in the true synchronised relief for not only the body but also the mind.”

Dr Peter Wakeford
Doctor

“I feel honoured to be a part of this exciting new era of the use of Medicinal…

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Dr Peter Wakeford

 

“I feel honoured to be a part of this exciting new era of the use of Medicinal Cannabis.”

John Williamson
Singer/Songwriter

“To me the idea of using Medicinal Cannabis for people in pain, or with epilepsy, is a no-brainer. We already use…

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John Williamson

“To me the idea of using Medicinal Cannabis for people in pain, or with epilepsy, is a no-brainer. We already use much more dangerous legal drugs, such as morphine, in cases of severe pain. Of course, strict controls in the production of Medicinal Cannabis will eliminate the dangers of the recreational varieties, which can be laced with unknown chemicals and are mostly in the hands of criminals. I don’t agree with legalising recreational Cannabis, but this is different.

Lara Giddings

44th Premier of Tasmania

“The momentum across the nation for change around laws governing Medicinal Cannabis is unstoppable. I am pleased to do…

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Lara Giddings

“The momentum across the nation for change around laws governing Medicinal Cannabis is unstoppable. I am pleased to do what I can to try to support Cannabis being legalized for medicinal use in Tasmania and nationally for its significant health and economic benefits. The time has come to put old prejudices aside and to take a compassionate and common sense approach to the issue. It seems unbelievable that we can grow opium in Tasmania and have opiate based medication available to patients, but not Cannabis even though there is much evidence around the world that it can turn lives around for young and old when used as a medicinal product.”

Laurence Mather
Emritus Professor, University of Sydney

“Not many generations ago, most medicines were prepared as mixtures, tinctures and elixirs from natural sources, typically…

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Emeritus Professor Laurence Mather

“Not many generations ago, most medicines were prepared as mixtures, tinctures and elixirs from natural sources, typically as extracts from plants or animal parts. As pharmaceutical sciences advanced, it was recognized that particular chemicals in those extracts could provide the effects being sought medically.
 
At the same time, laboratory and clinical researchers set about determining how these various chemicals worked to achieve those effects.  Pharmaceutical companies went about providing those chemicals in purer and ready-to-use dosage forms.
 
A prime example is how traditional tinctures and extracts made from opium had to be swallowed by the patient to relieve pain. By the early 20th C, a product called papaveretum, a selective extract of some of the more important chemicals from opium, allowed rapid pain relief by means of injection.
 
By the later 20th C, papaveretum was being replaced by individual pure components, especially morphine and codeine, and provided in a variety of dosage forms, that can achieve equivalent results with less likelihood of side effects, and with the regulation of purity required by contemporary society.
 
During the same period, scientists found that the body has its own set of chemical substances and mechanisms that work to produce the pain-relieving effects which the opium chemicals were being used to augment. However, some people use these chemicals for other than pain-relieving purposes – and this is often referred to as “recreational use” or “drug abuse”.

In attempts to prevent harms from such use, legal mechanisms have been placed to regulate and control the supply and use of such chemicals. By-and-large, these are successful and are accepted by society. Such regulations and controls are part of the body of ‘concepts and tools’ used by a compassionate society for permitting medicines to be used by patients in need.
 
Like opium, Cannabis is the basis of many traditional medicines. However, Cannabis was made an illegal substance in Australia in the mid-20th C, at a time of meagre scientific knowledge about its chemical composition, and certainly no knowledge of how it worked medically. Despite research on its medical use being thwarted, largely as a result of legal sanctions, it has become clear that Cannabis has genuine uses for certain medical conditions.
 
Again like opium, it has been found to work by augmenting a system of natural body chemicals. Unfortunately, the failure to distinguish between recreational and medicinal uses of Cannabis has continued to skew political and societal attention towards the hazards, rather than the benefits, of medicinal Cannabis ‑ and its use is largely still illegal. Part of the problem for changing political attitudes comes from the fact that Cannabis is a veritable chemical ‘fruit salad’, and that the chemical composition is neither easy to provide to patients in a standardised manner, nor certain as to which combinations of chemicals are to be preferred for treating particular conditions.
 
Nevertheless, the evidence from legally-conducted research with various chemical combinations, and from individual patients with a multitude of Cannabis preparations, largely point to the same conclusions ‑ that there is compelling evidence for the reasonable use of Cannabis in many distressing conditions for which conventional remedies are not providing sufficient patient comfort.
 
Surely a compassionate society should be willing to create the legal and moral concepts and tools for adding Cannabis to the list of medicines available to patients in need, and to support medical and scientific research to enable its best use.”

Deng Adut
Lawyer & Advocate

Sign our Petition Please help sick and desperate patients! The laws are not enough, sick patients are still forced to be…

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Deng Adut

Mick Palmer
Former Commissioner, Australian Federal Police

“The case in support of Medicinal Cannabis is, on any level, overwhelming. With or without the often demanded “trial based empirical…

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Mick Palmer

“The case in support of Medicinal Cannabis is, on any level, overwhelming. With or without the often demanded “trial based empirical evidence.

The case study examples of the enormous relief provided to countless people, many of whom are young, defenceless and seriously ill children, are strong and totally compelling.
  
  Our national illicit drugs policy is a harm reduction based policy. Nowhere is harm, including chronic pain and suffering, more dramatically reduced than through the supply and use of cannabis to persons with severe epilepsy and many forms of debilitating cancer for whom epilepsy and mainstream cancer medications are ineffective.
 
  Compassion alone should ensure that Cannabis is one of the medicinal remedies available for treatment. Politicians must have the courage to act in the public interest by enacting legislation that removes the fiction and legalises regulated production and supply of Cannabis for medicinal  purposes.”

Dr Yvonne McMaster
Palliative Care Specialist

One of the first palliative care specialists in Australia, Dr Yvonne McMaster didn’t slow down when she retired. Instead, she signed…

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Dr Yvonne McMaster OAM

One of the first palliative care specialists in Australia, Dr Yvonne McMaster didn’t slow down when she retired. Instead, she signed up to lead a support group for people with advanced cancer.

On learning that funding for palliative care had been cut and resources stretched, Yvonne became one of the country’s most formidable health advocates. It took her just nine months to get funding restored to her local palliative care service before she took her cause across the state.

Her weeks are now filled with meetings with doctors, nurses, hospital authorities and politicians across Australia as she strives to gain more resources for palliative care. She’s led petitions and media campaigns, written countless letters and delivered speeches in country towns and inner city enclaves.

The backbone behind the Push for Palliative crusade, Yvonne has garnered more than 80,000 signatures in support of the right of people to die with dignity and to live as well as possible to the last moment.

Margie Abbott
Childhood Educator, Businesswoman

As a mother, early childhood educator and member of the community, I’m more than happy to support the clinical use of cannabis where…

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Margie Abbott

As a mother, early childhood educator and member of the community, I’m more than happy to support the clinical use of cannabis where doctors think it might help.

Medicinal cannabis is not a cure-all, but some doctors think it can help patients with a number of very serious and debilitating illnesses.

In some cases, it might give people a level of normality and control in their lives – to regain their appetite, for instance; to allow joints to function without pain; or to help cancer patients get through treatment.

With proper regulation, medicinal cannabis could be a very useful addition to our capacity to help people .

Greg Barns
Lawyer, Advocate & Author

“Access to Medicinal Cannabis is a human rights issue. Australians who are suffering serious illnesses or living with chronic pain need to be ables…

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Greg Barns

“Access to Medicinal Cannabis is a human rights issue.
 
Australians who are suffering serious illnesses or living with chronic pain need to be able to access medications that assist them in having a better life.
 
Medical Cannabis is one of those medications. There is simply no reason why legislators cannot move immediately to legalise its use for these purposes.”