Australian Poster Boy Finds it Difficult to Receive Medical Marijuana

Lindsay Carter experienced his first violent seizure when he was 14 years-old.

At 14 years old, Lindsay Carter had his very first violent seizure. He crashed onto the floor in his dad’s presence. Now, at 19 he still suffers from the “focal seizures,” which he succumbs to rather randomly. During these seizures, Carter can be extremely violent causing him to temporarily lose his ability to speak or comprehend. The seizures are at a magnitude that they threaten his life.

Interestingly, medical marijuana is a substance that was found to assist Carter with his condition. When the “clouds in his head” occur, he has found that the legal but difficult to obtain remedy is the only thing that subdues it. He takes the medicine orally as an oil and inhales through a vaporizer. It is the main prescription he has found that it controls the recurrence and force of his seizures.

In recent years, he has reluctantly become the poster boy for medicinal marijuana use within Australia. He has appeared in many different forums like news reports and radio programs broadcast throughout the country. His story demonstrated the outright refusal of the countries to study marijuana and reform laws.

“talking to the NEws media is necessary to publicize the issue.”
Mr. Carter inhaling vaporized medical cannabis at home. Via the New York Times

Medical marijuana has been legal in Australia since 2016, but despite this, many people including Carter, are unable to receive the drug in the country. Regulations, among other things such as limited supply, high costs, and uneducated doctors have made medical marijuana very difficult to obtain.

President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr. Bastian Seidel, described the countries dispersal method as “fragmented” and “not transparent.” He stated that there is no consistency or efficiency in dealing with medical marijuana. This lack makes it difficult for the doctors and the patients.

“We don’t have a consistent, regulatory framework that is either efficient or timely.”

Subsequently, in a matter of weeks, his legal marijuana supply will be gone and there is no way to replenish it. He will have to wait nearly seven months. The only option he will have is to travel with his mother from the country to source another supply.

The drug has changed Carter’s life, he’s able to have a social life that consists of friends and dating. Before, his life consisted strictly of long overseas trips for medical purposes and fighting through the bureaucracy surrounding medical marijuana.

During 2014, Parliament was debating how to regulate medicinal marijuana, Carter and his mother went public with their story. They found that nothing seemed to be progressing, and a major changed was needed. His mother pushed him to be an advocate on the matter. To date, he has been interviewed twice on television and reported about on three different radio stations.