Kyneton Christian group launches medical cannabis petition

SUPPORT: Bob Evans with the petition calling for a full clinical trial into medical cannabis. Picture: BILL CONROY

SUPPORT: Bob Evans with the petition calling for a full clinical trial into medical cannabis. Picture: BILL CONROY

A KYNETON-based Christian group has launched a petition calling for the state government to carry out a full clinical trial into medical cannabis.

The Macedon Ranges branch of the Christian Business Men Connection says a more compassionate approach is needed into the issue, having seen the improvement in condition of a Mia Mia girl using cannabis treatment.

The group needs 4500 signatures to be able to submit the petition to the Victorian Legislative Council in support of the trial.

Group chairman Bob Evans said momentum was needed to keep the issue on the agenda for the government.

"Unless you keep the pressure on them, these things might not happen," he said.

"What we want to see is a thorough clinical trial. It hasn't been conducted yet.

"Without legislation, it leaves it in doubt that it will ever come to fruition."

The Christian Business Men Connection in Kyneton includes representatives from the Anglican, Catholic, Baptist and Uniting churches in the town.

The petition is available to sign in each church in Kyneton.

The petition states its aim is to "draw to the attention of the House the anguish of persons who are unable to legally purchase or use medical cannabis".

Mr Evans said the plight of Mia Mia Dravet Syndrome sufferer Tara O'Connell had inspired them to call for change.

"One of our members noticed Tara having therapy at the pool in Kyneton," he said.

"The change in her after she had the treatment was amazing in a little girl."

The O'Connell family has been leading a call for the legalisation of cannabis oil in Victoria, after their supplier in New South Wales was sentenced to 12 months jail.

The Labor Party announced in August last year it would seek advice from the Victorian Law Reform Commission on the prescription, manufacture and distribution of medical cannabis.

The former government introduced measures to make it easier to conduct clinical trials in September last year.

Methods of consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes could include in oil form to be placed under the tongue, tablets and forms of sprays.

Cannabis to be smoked is not expected to be included in any trials.

Mr Evans said the Christian group made it a priority to promote a safe drugs message into the Kyneton community.

"We have sponsored drug awareness days at Kyneton Secondary College," he said.

"We have tried to help educate high school students in the community about the dangers of illicit drugs."

The Macedon Ranges branch of the Christian Business Men Connection plans to distribute the petition to locations in Bendigo.

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