Marchers seek medical marijuana awareness

TWENTY-three-year-old Jeremy Bester, of Prospect, lost his ability to speak.

Mr Bester developed refractory epilepsy, which causes severe and frequent seizures, after contracting a virus in his brain at the age of six.

He has tried a myriad medications to stop the seizures, all of which have debilitating side effects.

One such side effect was the loss of his language skills.

He also continues to use a drug that can cause respiratory arrest.

His mother Lyn Cleaver has been researching the use of medical cannabis for the past few years as an alternative to the drugs that Mr Bester must take.

Ms Cleaver said it is a safe and effective alternative.

Yesterday, mother and son walked in the Medical Marijuana March for the Sick and Dying in Launceston, as part of a national protest  to make marijuana available for those who wish to use it for their ailments.

‘‘We want to show the government that we appreciate that they have decided to consider trials, but we want to continue to put pressure on them to make sure it is seen through,’’ Ms Cleaver said.

‘‘It is extremely frustrating that we don’t have access to it. The next seizure could kill him.

‘‘If it comes to the point where he started having longer seizures we would try medical cannabis whether it was legal or not.

‘‘It is a massive risk. It is breaking the law, but his alternative could quite possibly be death.’’

More than 50 adults and children took part in the protest march from Brisbane Street Mall to City Park.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein said they would re-visit a medical cannabis trial in Tasmania after the legislative inquiry.

Malcolm Amundsen, Jeremy Bester and his mother Lyn Cleaver support medical cannabis at the march in Launceston yesterday.

Malcolm Amundsen, Jeremy Bester and his mother Lyn Cleaver support medical cannabis at the march in Launceston yesterday.

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