Dr Andrew Katelaris Letter to The Premier

To good people everywhere.
Today is Sunday and Dr Andrew Katelaris asked if I would be kind enough to share with you all his recent letter to the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, concerning his continued fight to help children with intractable epilepsy and other serious conditions as matter of medical necessity.
How unfortunate is it, that we exist at a time in Australia where good people are criminalised for providing such assistance to our children and grandchildren. I ask the question, what kind of government do we actually have that continues to persecute both people helping those in need, and the families and children themselves. It is painful to see sick children, especially those who have been forcibly removed from their kind loving families, being forced to take allopathic medicines that have been proven ineffective for their conditions, when I have also seen with my own eyes the immense benefits of medicinal cannabis with those same children. What kind of society have we become that creates such needless suffering to so many children and families all around the country, and at what cost. It is my belief that when a government condones and supports the needless suffering of its own children, for what appears to be nothing more than greed and self interest, that government will soon cease to exist.
Let us all pray for positive change, let us also pray for righteous retribution of all those whom are fully culpable, and  lets us all vote for Independents in the coming State and Federal Elections, Amen.
All You Need Is Love xxx Pastor Paul
5th December, 2018
Dr Andrew Katelaris 
P.O. Box 3261
North Turramurra 2075
Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, 
Premier of New South Wales
Parliament House, Sydney
Madame,
You would undoubtedly be aware of the great benefit provided by medical cannabis to certain children afflicted by conditions not amenable to current allopathic treatment, such as intractable epilepsy, autism and Tourette’s Syndrome, amongst others. 
Last week I was acquitted of criminal charges involving a large quantity of cannabis leaf and cannabis oil, charges which carried a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.  The jury of twelve found I had acted out of medical necessity, forced into breaking the law to provide life saving medicine to those afflicted children, there being no available alternative.  The jury also heard that carefully prepared artisanal cannabis may be more medically efficacious than the pharmaceutical preparations currently available.  
The government, both state and federal, should take the responsibility for providing the best possible medical care, especially to the most vulnerable of sick children, but regarding medical cannabis it has adopted an obstructionist policy, sanctioning only pharmaceutical cannabis, which is limited in supply, very expensive and of reduced effectiveness, compared with whole plant artisanal extracts.  
The cost to the public purse for my prosecution was large.  My lab was raided by twelve officers who spent the whole day there.  I was arrested and detained for two days until released on bail.  Some months later bail was revoked and I was incarcerated for two months in a maximum security gaol, until granted bail in the district court.  Some month later I was arrested for the possession of 25ml of massage oil, deemed to be cannabis by the arresting officer, but found to be non-drug massage oil by analysis, not performed until five months after my arrest.  I spent four months in Cessnock maximum security gaol, was refused bail by a Supreme Court judge and finally granted bail by the Court of Criminal Appeal and then had the charges dropped for lack of substance.  
My trial went for four weeks in the District Court, with a detective in attendance each day, obviously ignoring other more important duties.  There were other expenses involving analysis and unnecessary fingerprint and DNA testing.  The total cost would be well into six figures.  In addition, each child with intractable epilepsy not treated effectively with medical cannabis continues to burden the health system with emergency ambulance call-out, doctors consultations, pharmaceutical expenses and frequent hospital admissions, often to intensive care.  
I have sent copies of this letter to your police minister Troy Grant, who has been quoted as saying how passionately he cares about protecting children and to Mike Fuller, his Commissioner.  Now is the time to prove this is more than hollow words.  The only humane and practical way forward with medical cannabis is to instigate an urgent moratorium on police interdiction on cannabis produced or ingested for medical purposes.  In pharmacological terms cannabis is much safer than paracetamol.  Issues of potency and purity are easily dealt with by providing access to analytical facilities.  
Any reasonable person should consider the care and well being of children to be a priority, but here we see instruments of your government used to harass patients, their families and carers and to restrict access to life saving medicine to those afflicted with severe conditions.  A moratorium can be applied as a matter of policy, without the need for a law change, which can be a lengthy process.  The patients we are dealing with do not have the luxury of this delay.  As demonstrated by the jury of twelve, representing the people of this State, the laws restricting access to medical cannabis are onerous and oppressive and may and indeed should be ignored for the greater good.
I am prepared to meet with you or your delegates to provide further information on this vital topic, so that a moratorium can be applied with the least possible delay.  I can be contacted by email at andrew.katelaris@gmail.com
Sincerely,
Dr Andrew Katelaris MD

 

cc. Hon Troy Grant, Minister for Police 
Mick Fuller, Commissioner of Police
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