A grandmother on a hunger strike in protest over medicinal cannabis legislation says her health is deteriorating — and she has had no response from the government.
Heather Gladman has not consumed any food for 13 days.
She started the hunger strike after police last month raided her home and seized her supply of cannabis, which she says she compassionately grew for ill patients across the state.
Frustrated at not being able to help people with their medicine, Ms Gladman said she knew she had to do more to raise awareness about the government’s “irrational” anti-cannabis laws.
She took her hunger strike to Treasury Gardens on Sunday, where she has camped since; a move she hoped would get the attention of the Andrews Government.
But she says she has not heard anything from Premier Daniel Andrews, despite his past outspoken support for medicinal cannabis.
“Daniel Andrews is a coward,” Ms Gladman said.
“He claims he is fully supportive of medicinal cannabis but then he won’t stand up and actually help those who need it now.”
Ms Gladman, 58, has called on Mr Andrews to give amnesty for compassionate growers until such time as the government can supply organic cannabis to the state’s ill.
“I intend to continue this hunger strike until every man, woman and child has access to safe and organic cannabis,” Ms Gladman said.
“The government can no longer deny terminally ill people their medicine.”
The Andrews Government announced in October it would move to legalise access to locally-manufactured medicinal cannabis, particularly for children with cancer or epilepsy, as early as 2017.
But it has made it clear that any legislation introduced to parliament would not allow for anyone to grow or supply marijuana in backyard arrangements.
Ms Gladman told the Herald Sun last week she was prepared to die for the cause.
Surrounded by supporters, Ms Gladman today was forced to lay under the tent she has pitched in Treasury Gardens as her body becomes weak from no food consumption.
She said her friends and family have tried to convince her to stop her mission.
A rally will take place this Sunday where pro-medicinal cannabis supporters are urged to join Ms Gladman on a march from Treasury Gardens to the steps of Parliament at 1pm.
Guest speakers have been organised to raise further awareness about the positives of medicinal cannabis.
An online petition is also going around and has already attracted more than 700 signatures.
Ms Gladman’s home in Bradleys Rd, Stradbroke, near Sale, was raided and some 70 marijuana plants were seized on February 18.
Her and a fellow medicinal cannabis supplier who lives at the property, Liam Hotham, were charged with cultivating cannabis.
They are both listed to appear in Sale Magistrates Court on March 15.