Even Australia’s Medical Marijuana Poster Boy Can’t Get the Drug

Even Australia’s Medical Marijuana Poster Boy Can’t Get the Drug

Published on 2/10/18

Australia legalized medical marijuana in 2016 but according to some Australians who need the medication most, the system is broken. Lindsay Carter is a name that many Australians and people around the world know due to his numerous appearances on television broadcasts and online publications for his difficulty in receiving medical marijuana treatment for his intense epileptic seizures and brain tumor. Though medical marijuana is legal in Australia, it's nearly impossible to get in a timely manner, and that's if you get approved through the difficult prescription process. Mr. Carter waited 19 months in his condition while his family and doctors filled out applications with 196 pages of supporting evidence. Even if Australia had the available product, which it often does not and must wait on imports, it would cost the Carter family around $12,500 a month. Such a flawed system is not built to work for an average patient, forcing the Carter family to the United States where they received much faster and more effective treatment. Though the trip away from home is taxing, Lindsay Carter got a doctors prescription and recieved his medication all in the same day in Seattle, WA. It's not just enough to legalize medical marijuana when patients are truly in need. Patients deserve a comprehensive and time efficient system that caters to their illness and needs.

The teenager has become in recent years a reluctant poster boy for the drug’s medicinal use in Australia. Appearing in news reports and radio programs broadcast across the country, he tells a story that exemplifies for many the absurdity of the nation’s marijuana regulations.

But in a cruel paradox, people like Mr. Carter — who has been told he has a brain tumor and epilepsy — find it hard to get the drug in their country. Bureaucracy and regulation, uninformed doctors, limited supply and high costs make what in some cases could be a lifesaving drug nearly impossible to obtain.

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