ONJ : Cannabis Should Be Available To All Australian Cancer Patients

Olivia Newton-John - medical cannabis
Image: Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre

Singer/actress and more recently medical cannabis advocate Olivia Newton-John has utilised an Australian national TV program to again call for easy access to medicinal cannabis for all Australian patients with cancer.

Ms. Newton-John has been using medical cannabis to help manage her cancer – her third bout since 1992.

“My husband grows [it] for me in California. It’s legal to grow certain amount of plants for your own medicinal purposes, so he makes me tinctures*. They help with pain, they help with sleep. I am very lucky that I live in a state where it’s legal and I have a husband that is a plant medicine man,” said Ms. Newton-John on Channel 7’s Sunday Night program.

In Australia, cancer patients aren’t so lucky – home-growing is illegal and it’s a complex/expensive process to access medicinal cannabis.

“My dream is that, in Australia soon, it will be available to all the cancer patients and people going through cancer or any kind of disease that causes pain,” says Olivia.

Ms. Newton-John continues to be very active in supporting cancer research and patients. Projects associated with her name include the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, which incorporates the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.

While cannabis is not currently prescribed by physicians at the ONJ Centre, the Centre believes this is an important area for clinical research and will be conducting its own studies.

Last year, Ms. Newton-John met with then-Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, opposition leader Bill Shorten, then-health minister Greg Hunt and other ministers to discuss how cancer researchers could be better supported. During her visit, she also met with local cannabis crusader Lucy Haslam and spoke with Ms. Haslam on issues relating to accessing cannabis medicines in Australia.

You can watch the full episode of Sunday Night here (cannabis related content towards the end of the story), or read the general contents of the episode here.

Olivia Newton-John released her new autobiography, Don’t Stop Believin’, yesterday

* A tincture is made by steeping cannabis in alcohol. After a period of a couple of weeks, the liquid is drained off. The resulting liquid, which can be quite potent, is administered with an eye-dropper and consumed sublingually and/or by ingestion .