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No amnesty for medicinal marijuana, says Qld Government

In November 2016, Australia will legalise medicinal cannabis. PATIENTS whose supply of medicinal marijuana was cut off by a South Australian drug raid last week have pleaded again with Queensland politicians for immediate access to the drug.

Parents of eight-year-old Kaitlyn Spraggon, who suffers uncontrollable epilepsy, and 14-year-old Becky Bonaccorsi, who has a brain tumour, are still unsure of their children's futures.

"We don't know what we're doing to do, we're at a loss for words," Becky's mum Linda said.

"I know what we're doing could be classed as breaking the law, but I just want to save my daughter."

Sunshine Coast marijuana advocate Rebecca Bridson and Buderim MP Steve Dickson also made impassioned speeches to media calling on the state and federal governments for amnesty.

"I'm not a criminal, none of us are criminals," Ms Bridson said. "We ask for unified support for the most needy in our country." Mr Dickson said he had personally phoned the Prime Minister's office on Monday morning in a bid for help. "I'm not asking, I'm demanding," Mr Dickson said. "We can't sit around and let people die. "That's why I'm calling on the Prime Minister to intervene and save a child's life." A spokesperson for the Acting Minister for Health and Ambulance Services maintained that patients in need of the drug can access marijuana products right now through the legal channels. "The use of recreational or unregulated medicinal cannabis fails to ensure that products are both safe and effective," they said. "Queensland parents who believe their children may benefit from such treatment should consult with their physician and may register for the free clinical trial being conducted at Lady Cilento Hospital." Sourcing marijuana products through the existing framework requires people to apply for access through their specialist doctor, which is then approved by the Queensland health department. As there are currently no legal suppliers operating in Australia, patients must also apply for import permits through the Therapeutic Goods Administration in order to receive medicine from countries such as The Netherlands and Canada. However, this can often be quite expensive. Father Steve Peek, who has been treating his daughter Suli with medicinal marijuana oil supplied for free by an Adelaide grower, said no matter what happens now, the damage has been done. "We're getting very very low, probably by the end of this week we'll run out," he said. "Ultimately, we all knew what we were doing was illegal but that doesn't make it wrong. "There's a bigger thing here than legality, and that's morality, that's doing what's right." The Queensland Premier's office said there was no amnesty scheme in place. A spokesperson said legislation allowing for regulated access to medicinal marijuana was due to take effect in March and declined to comment further.

"I'll go as far as it takes, but we will not be ashamed.

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