Mom. Dad. They are short, succinct sounds, often the first spoken from babes across the globe, and packed with all kinds of punch. It seems fair to say that it’s the Moms and Dads in pursuit of treatment and care for their children that have driven some of the most significant medical shifts our planet has seen. Call it a primal instinct, a biological imperative or just plain “the way it is,” but history has borne, if you want to make a deep and lasting change; if you want to make a difference…talk to the Mamas and the Papas. They’re the folks petitioning and lobbying at the wild extremes of culture and convention to correct policy in order to ensure a healthy future for their children.
The parent lobby for medical cannabis as a treatment option for children with illness ranging from epilepsy to autism to cancer, are strong cases in point. The ‘Mommy lobby’ has been more successful at opening the doors to establishing medical marijuana programs than any other. Mothers (and fathers too of course, but there is something different about the moms that tend to really get things moving) have long been among the most powerful constituent groups in the United States and as we are seeing, far beyond. “The reason is clear.” wrote Ariana Eunjung Cha in her Washington Post piece about this idea. “Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are able to draw so much public support because they tug at a universal human emotion: the desire to protect children from harm.” Indeed kids are a group of people that we are all willing to rally for.
This simple truth plays out with different faces, for different causes worldwide. I’d like to draw your attention to the Australian part of our globe to a very special woman who recently initiated a huge policy change in Australia. On the first anniversary of her son Dan’s death from bowel cancer at just 25, medicinal cannabis was decriminalised in Australia and Lucy Haslam was the Mom who drove that change home.
The iCAN team recently had the honor to sit with Lucy here in Israel and learn from her story, her wisdom and her unwavering drive to push for positive change in the lives of patients and their families. A change which is now weaved into the fabric of Australia’s legal history and their entire country’s approach to medical cannabis. Please take a few moments to read this ABC piece and learn more about Lucy Haslam’s story and get familiar with her tireless work at United With Compassion, a community based initiative to provide compassionate and dignified access to alleviation of pain and suffering.
Recognizing a legal and/or medical injustice is the easy part. Showing up day after day, and arming yourself and your community with the research, knowledge, resources and the pure grit needed to right that wrong is not. Add caring for a sick child on top of that…and you’ve got all the makings of super hero. But make no mistake, super-star status doesn’t cross these parents’ minds, they do it because it’s right and it needs to get done.
On behalf of all of us at iCAN:Israel-cannabis, we honor the brave parents who stand at the frontlines of fear and roar for the change their children, that our children, deserve. Thank you. Thank you so much.