A recent petition started circulating around Facebook earlier this month about an Australian dad, Adam Koessler, whom was treating his two-year-old cancer patient, Rumer, with cannabis oil.
The story made headlines when the father alarmingly was arrested on January 2nd for treating the toddler who suffers from stage 4 neuroblastoma whom, he said, her condition was improving from the cannabis oil. His arrest that lead to bail meant that he could not see or have any contact with his daughter, who then declined in hospital, suffering from seizures and moved into Intensive care from not receiving her dad’s home concoction of the oil mixed with coconut extract. With a worrying 50% chance of survival, it’s not surprising that the ‘offence’ has distressed citizens worldwide.
More than 170,000 people have signed a petition campaigning his parental rights to treat his daughter however he pleases. Unfortunately, Brisbane Magistrates court and authorities charged Koessler with supplying dangerous drugs to a person under 16, and the possession of such drugs, an apparent criminal offence that is not only restricted to Australia, but other parts of the world too.
However, other countries praise the use of Medical Marijuana, in which cannabis has been legalised in these various parts. There is significant evidence that show how the extracts can have very beneficial effects of all kinds of sufferers, including cancer patients, without inflicting harmful side effects that other medical treatments involve. Even working with approved medical treatments alongside the extracts, studies have found that medical cannabis has been proved to alleviate these worrying side effects, which is proven further on little Rumer who would tell her dad that her “tummy’s not sore” anymore and that she began gaining weight and eating again. Her dad argued how “her energy was up and she wanted to go outside with me instead of lay on her back with her legs curled up.” Even the American Cancer Society argues and supports the use of medical cannabis use, campaigning the “need for more scientific research on cannabinoids for cancer patients” and criticising “Federal officials” for limiting further scientific study on marijuana. They conclude quite openly, that “medical decisions about pain and symptom management should be made between the patient and his or her doctor, balancing evidence of benefit and harm to the patient, the patient’s preferences and values, and applicable laws and regulations.”
Luckily, Koessler is back with his daughter who has shown some signs of improvement from chemotherapy, but not without a fight. On January 21st, the Facebook page announced how he was able to spend some time with his daughter in hospital, in which the police were then called and lingered outside Rumer’s room. However, upon arrival and “assessing the situation, they determined that Adam had every right to be there and spend time with Rumer,” the Mirror reports.
Thankfully, it seems Koessler’s case and severity might be lessened, and yet the question that lingers in my mouth is why this was ever a case to begin with, and how can we prevent such things from happening in the future.
It is without a doubt that the cannabis oil helped his daughter. This inhumane act may well have been the legislation for an execution. Simply, parents and suffers should have access or at least be allowed to treat and relieve symptoms of their pain in whatever way they seek best. Especially when it shows signs of obvious improvement. Clearly, Koessler loves his daughter and acted in the best way possible to treat her. He took matters in his own hands, as well as allowing doctors to treat the way they sought best, too. He wanted to prolong and increase the chances of her survival, what parent wouldn’t want that for their child?
As the petition argued, “aside from the excruciating cruelty of eliminating his parental rights set down on his bail conditions,” the increasing “benefits of medical grade cannabis oil” cannot be ignored any longer. It seems ridiculous that other countries and up to 23 states in America can enjoy and make use of this benefit, yet others are left in the dark and charged with criminal offences.
In my own signature on the petition, I urged for legalisation or at least, for courts to drop the charges on such cases where evidence proved the oil is working. Officials should turn a ‘blind eye’ or provide a loop hole in such legalities, if they’re unable to commit to the full stage of legalisation in the mean time.
It’s still strangely outdated that medical or even recreational use of marijuana hasn’t been brought to legalisation yet. Thousands of studies have proved how the effects are less dangerous than the likes of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and that it shouldn’t really be considered a drug at all. But that’s a whole different article. For now we should be concerned by our government and authorities who are quick to lock away the sick and their guardians who are treating them through ways they think are best. I think this father showed great initiative in treating his daughter, and should not be punished. My parents don’t condone, take or administer drugs, yet I’m positive if I were in this position and my parents sought best to treat me with cannabis oil, (besides the fact I’m 20 and perfectly capable of making this decision myself), they would do it in a heartbeat if it meant I was eased from suffering and it improved my health. I’m positive that every parent would feel this way and the way this man has been treated is disgusting and an alarming reflection on our outdated and sometimes unjust lawful system.