International Women’s Day luncheon features medical cannabis campaigner

Gunnedah Evening VIEW Club program officers Lorraine Overton, left, and Chris Pullman, right, pictured with speaker Lucy Haslam.
Gunnedah Evening VIEW Club program officers Lorraine Overton, left, and Chris Pullman, right, pictured with speaker Lucy Haslam.

MEDICAL cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam was guest speaker at the International Women’s Day luncheon in Tamworth attended by members of the Gunnedah Evening VIEW Club and Gunnedah Day VIEW Club.

Organised on behalf of VIEW Clubs Australia, the luncheon at the Diggers Ballroom last Saturday was attended by more than 100 women from around the region.

Lorraine Overton, Chris Pullman, Marie Hobson and Kate Knight.

Lorraine Overton, Chris Pullman, Marie Hobson and Kate Knight.

It was heart wrenching to hear Lucy Haslam talk about her son Dan's struggle to beat stage 4 bowel cancer but the relief he gained from cannabis, not just with pain but also nausea from the chemo, made his short life bearable.

With the full support of Dan and her family, Lucy began a campaign to have medical cannabis legalised so that it could be prescribed in a safe and regulated manner.

Even though legislation was passed early last year, the hurdles, barriers and red tape to making it accessible to those who need it and registering growers in Australia, seemed impossible to beat.

Medical cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam speaking at the International Women's Day luncheon in Tamworth.

Medical cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam speaking at the International Women's Day luncheon in Tamworth.

But Lucy is fighting on and the audience found her courage and resilience very inspirational.

She said the slower and more restrictive the system was for medicinal cannabis, the more likely patients and their families will avail themselves of black market supplies.

“Given we can’t be sure of the quality and safety of these products, and given the high street price tag, surely we can do better for patients in desperate need,” she said.

VIEW Club members enjoy their time in Tamworth.

VIEW Club members enjoy their time in Tamworth.

The Australian Medicinal Cannabis Symposium will be held in Melbourne from June 23-25. The program will be suited to medical professionals, policy makers and the general public, including patients and carers, who will hear from the world’s most informed speakers on the medical uses, current research, and science behind medicinal cannabis.

On April 8, SBS will again screen a documentary featuring Lucy’s early campaign.

Gunnedah Evening VIEW Club President Margaret Stevens spoke about the origin of International Women’s Day, while the Day VIEW Club’s Judy Sills gave members an insight into the history of VIEW in Australia and its work for the Smith Family charity.

The function was attended by VIEW National Councillor Barbara Hyslop and Zone Councillor, Beryl Pike, along with a Smith Family representative who outlined the amazing work being done by the charity for disadvantaged children and their families.