Hemposium Speakers

Damon Adams

Damon Adams is a cannabis legalisation advocate and drug law reformist from Adelaide. After actively service in the Royal Australian Navy and operational service as a Police Officer, Damon is now studying education at Uni SA and lives in Adelaide with his wife and three sons.

 

 

 

Dr David Bearman

One of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medicinal marijuana.  He has spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs.  Dr. Bearman was a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement.  His career includes public health, administrative medicine, provision of primary care, pain management and cannabinology.

His almost 40 year professional experience in the drug abuse treatment and prevention field includes being the Co-Director of the Haight-Ashbury Drug Treatment Program, being a member of Governor Reagan’s Inter Agency Task Force on Drug Abuse, a member of both the Santa Barbara and the San Diego County Drug Abuse Technical Advisor Committees, and a consultant to Hoffman-LaRoche, Santa Barbara County Schools and the National PTA. He has been recognized by the Santa Barbara Medical Society with the Humanitarian Recognition Award. Dr. Bearman is also the author of Drugs Are NOT the Devil’s Tools: How Discrimination and Greed Created a Dysfunctional Drug Policy and How It Can Be Fixed in 2 volumes. 

 

Steve Bolt

Steve has been a practising solicitor since 1991. He worked for several years at Redfern Legal Centre. From 1996 to early 2004, he was the principal solicitor at the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre. Steve is the author of Rough Deal, a plain English book about the NSW drug laws. He is also the author of a number of other publications on drug laws and drug policy.

 

Tony Bower

Tony is the owner and Director of Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd. Mullaways is the first medical cannabis company established and registered in Australia for the purpose of scientific research, cannabis education and the development and delivery of medicines derived from cannabis/cannabinoids for the management of chronic pain, nausea and appetite.

 

 

Glenn Druery

Glenn Druery is a political strategist who has worked extensively with minor parties and independents since the mid 1990s. This work recently earned him the moniker the ‘Preference Whisperer’ of Australian politics. After the New South Wales state election in 1995, Glenn started to take a keen interest in politics. In 1997 Glenn masterminded the concept of preference harvesting and successfully applied his theories to the 1999 NSW state election. He was directly responsible for the election of 3 candidates. Since the inception of preference harvesting, Glenn continues to work with minor parties and independents and has elected many individuals to state and federal parliaments. Seven of the eight federal members of the cross bench are beneficiaries of Glenn’s electoral and strategic prowess. Glenn is passionate about multi-party democracy and firmly believes all Australians should have the right to enter the political process.

 

Martin Ernegg

Hemp fibre fusion is the materials and molding company of Martin Ernegg whose core competance is structural materials made from micro-fibrillated plant fibre. Martin and early partners Horst Döpfner and Robert Bramsteidl started their early research with recycled paper drawing on the technologies of paper mache to make a recycled suitcase. In 1994, their invention ‘hempstone’ landed on the market,and Martin continues to develop and work with his innovation using a variety of raw materials. He runs the factory in collaboration with Jon Worsley. One of the beauties of Martin’s work is the essential fusion of three simple elements: fibre, water, pigments &/or hemp charcoal. Without additional binders, his material is a revolution which he is continually developing and refining. This is advanced nano-fibre technology which Martin continues to nourish for sustainable material development. He is a creator and available for Consultancy from a vast number of technical approaches.

 

Derryn Hinch

Derryn Hinch is best known for his work on Melbourne radio and television. He was the host of 3AW’s Drive radio show until December 2012 and he is currently a National Public Affairs commentator for the Seven Network on Sunday Night, Today Tonight and Sunrise. He has also been a police reporter, foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, television show host, actor, novelist and vintner. In October 2015, Hinch announced his intention to stand for a Senate seat as head of the Derryn Hinch Justice Party at the next Federal election.

 

Rebecca Houghton

Rebecca Houghton has intimate knowledge of post-traumatic stress and the ripple effect on partners and families. She watched her partner Michael, a former infantry soldier, become a ‘zombie’ on Defence-prescribed pharmaceuticals and dangerously abuse alcohol. After making the decision to leave the workforce to become a stay-at-home caregiver, and having recognised that the evidence-based treatments were exacerbating Michael’s conditions, Bek began extensive research into PTSD and related conditions to find information on alternatives. Frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement she received towards the modalities that were providing great benefit, she and Michael travelled to the United States to meet with leading professors, researchers and in-the-field practitioners, either studying, or already utilising holistic modalities to manage Post Traumatic Stress. As a partner of an Australian Veteran, Bek is an outspoken maven on holistic treatment for Veterans & their families and continues to highlight the need for better holistic Veteran care on an international platform.

 

Dr Andrew Katelaris

Dr Andrew Katelaris makes hemp oil and risks his freedom for sick children. Since 1990 he has been experimenting with the medical uses of cannabis. For the past 18 months he has been supplying CBD dominant cannabis to 20 children with serious seizure disorders. With this safe and effective herbal medicine he has seen a dramatic reduction in the frequency and intensity of the seizures and in addition, most of the children have shown a noticeable improvement in their social, intellectual and motor functioning. Whilst various governments have talked about trialling medical cannabis this has not progressed at the rate required by the seriousness of the situation. Epilepsy is currently the major cause of preventable brain damage.

 

Andrew Kavasilas

Andrew Kavasilas has been a Nimbin local for 20 years, a woodworker generally with a keen interest in cannabis law reform. Andrew has worked under various hemp permits since 1999 and was instrumental in the first and only High THC Cannabis growing project in Australia back in 2001/02. This research was published in ‘Medical Uses of Cannabis – Information for Medical Practitioners’. Andrew is also credited with writing a medical cannabis users survey conducted by the Australian National Drugs And Research Centre (NDARC). Andrew has been an active lobbyist since and regularly meets with bureaucrats, policy makers, many politicians and Ministers discussing cannabis law reform issues. Andrew has spent the last 10 years breeding sub tropical hemp cultivars for local broad acre production and is a true pioneer of the fledgling Australian industrial hemp industry. More recently, Andrew has brought his intricate knowledge and experience to the Australian HEMP Party as its Secretary.

 

Kog

In 1995, Kog was busted with 8,000 marijuana seedlings. The cops valued these worthless little plants at $2,000 each and sentenced Kog to 2 years in prison for being in possession of $16 Million dollars worth of marijuana. After he got out of prison, he set about to grow the biggest and the best crop of dope he’d ever grown – and he did. Kog was determined to share his knowledge with the greater community and wrote the groundbreaking seminal book “Marijuana – A Grower’s Lot” which has been featured in Holland’s “High Life” and “Cannabis Lit”.

 

Robert W.E. Laurie

Robert W.E. Laurie is an international lawyer, writer and speaker, qualified as a Solicitor in England and Wales and called to the British Columbia Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor.  After practicing in London and New York, Robert founded AD LUCEM LAW CORPORATION in his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. Robert’s legal practice focuses on issues related to cannabis, encompassing the areas of business law, administrative and family litigation, and criminal defence. Robert is a volunteer lawyer with the Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia and is a Contributing Author and Columnist with ‘Grow Magazine‘, based in Oregon. His regular column with ‘Grow’ is entitled: “North of the 49th Parallel: Cannabis News and Legal Commentary from Canada.”  He is a former Board Advisor to the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD).

Robert enjoys practicing law throughout British Columbia in the ever-changing medical cannabis industry. He has acted for licensed producers, dispensaries, patient growers, cannabis entrepreneurs, activists, international marijuana clients and First Nations. He is a frequent speaker at cannabis industry events, including the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLEBC), The Canadian Institute, Women Grow, and The International Cannabis Business Conference. Robert holds a M.A. (Hons) Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford (St. Edmund Hall) and B.A. (Hons) in Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

“Cannabis can save the planet, whereas alcohol & tobacco will kill you, especially if used as directed. So why regulate cannabis like it is alcohol or tobacco? To do so is nonsensical and irresponsible.” ~ Robert W.E. Laurie

 

Ajia Mae Moon

Ajia Mae Moon is the creator of WeedWoman, founder and owner of Twelve High Chicks [12HC]. Ajia has been a medical, and recreational cannabis activist since 2005 as well as an active member of the New Democratic Party of Canada since 2010. She has won 2nd place indica bud, and 2nd place hybrid bud at the 2014 Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup (Saskatoon Canada) and 3rd place in extracts at the 2014 kush cup (Vancouver, Canada) and 2nd place in extracts at the 2015 Kush Cup (Vancouver, Canada) Last year she got a chance to speak at: Mardi Grass (N.S.W, Australia) Hempfest (Washington, U.S.A) Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup (Saskatoon , Canada) Since the closure of her dispensary (three happy cats) Ajia has been focusing on Twelve High Chicks and Weed Woman.

 

Fiona Patten

Fiona Patten is the founder and leader of the Australian Sex Party and a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for the Northern Metropolitan region. She came to politics after 20 years of lobbying for the rights of organisations involved in the sexual rights movement – including small businesses, sex workers, HIV/AIDS organisations, adult media and online anti-censorship groups. Before that she was an established independent fashion designer with her own label called Body Politics.

Her political career began as an AIDS educator with ACT sex worker advocacy group, WISE. She also held positions on the Board of the AIDS Action Council, as an AFAO (Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations) Committee Member and a member of the ACT Attorney General’s Sex Industry Committee. Before being elected, she was best known as the CEO of Australia’s national adult goods and services lobby group, the Eros Association. She ran a number of high profile campaigns in this role, many of which saw off bans on adult material, restrictions on sexual behaviour and a focus on the real villains involved in sexual abuse.

Frustrated and deeply disappointed with the lack of social change on censorship, drug law reform, euthanasia and gay marriage, she set up and registered the Australian Sex Party in 2009 with a strong focus on civil libertarian and personal freedom issues. She became the first political leader to call for a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in religious institutions.

In the 2014 Victorian state election she won her seat in the Victorian Legislative Council and a balance of power position. Since her election to the Victorian upper house she has successfully instigated physician assisted dying laws, a landmark inquiry into drug law reform, the legalisation of ridesharing and the introduction of a bill for both safe injecting facilities and pill testing. She is also part of a number of Parliamentary committees.

 

David Shoebridge

David is a Greens MP in the NSW Parliament, serving in the State’s Upper House since September 2010. David is the Greens NSW spokesperson for Industrial Relations, Aboriginal Justice, Planning and Heritage, Child Protection, Firearms, Justice and Local Government. David has been a strong voice in the campaign against amateur hunting on public land, and continues to work against the development of a pro-gun and hunting culture in NSW. Among David’s current campaigns are working to keep decisions about council amalgamations in the hand of the local community, campaigning to curb the use of police drug sniffer dogs and Tasers, and protecting the rights of workers to fair wages and workers compensation. David was an elected Greens Councillor on Woollahra Council between 2004 and 2012 where he served a term as Deputy Mayor. Before entering Parliament David worked as a lawyer for 13 years, the majority of this time as a Barrister. In that time he acted for a broad range of people and organisations with a focus on employment, discrimination, industrial and tort law.

 

Brooke Vogler

Brooke campaigns with Weeded Warrior, encouraging and representing veterans’ interests in the political, medical and social movement for reform and legalisation. Brooke has a professional background in Defence intelligence with active service in Iraq and a subsequent role in the investigations unit of the New South Wales Government’s Police Integrity Commission. She uses cannabis to treat service-related injuries including PTSD and chronic joint pain. She is also an advocate for wider drug law reform.

 

 

Sita von Windheim

Sita has been involved in Cannabis Activism since opening the original Amsterdam Café and Hemporium in Vancouver, Canada in 1997 – patrons could smoke their own Cannabis as well as purchase seeds from the 375 strain menu. A life long recreational Cannabis smoker, she knew that Cannabis was also medicine for her frequent migraines. After selling her successful PollenMaster business in 2015, Sita now works full time with Cannabis Medicine – consulting with patients and making custom formulations to manage a wide variety of conditions: migraines, insomnia and arthritis, women’s health, skin disease, ADD, PTSD, seizure disorders, cancer…..the list is very long.

 

Wadzy Wadsworth

Wadzy’s drug of choice is beer VB! However he has been seen having the occasional Puff. Wadzy strongly supports adults right to indulge in the drug of their choicer without interference from the State. Alcohol & Drugs should be a health issue not a criminal one! Wadzy believes that Hemp, Cannabis, Marijuana, etc., is the most useful plant on the planet and in conjunction with; Localisation, real democracy, solar and renewable energy can form the basis for truly sustainable communities, where wealth is created and distributed fairly, to all. Wadzy has been involved with the evolving Hemp Revolution for many years and developed Hemp Bricks and masonry when he did voluntary work at the Hemp Embassy.

 

Stories from the Medical Cannabis Community

Michelle: Jai was diagnosed back in Jan 2010 with idiopathic refractory epilepsy. No cure. After a series of tests, Jai was officially diagnosed with 3 rare epilepsy syndromes. Years of pharmaceutical medications, many failed trials, treatments, the side effects became worse then the daily seizures. Time and time again, we were briefed about SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy). We knew Jai had exhausted all avenues. When you’ve witnessed CPR, broken bones, smashed teeth, vision loss, inability to walk, talk, eat, the only thing left to go is his heartbeat. Jai was trapped in an empty shell taking 35 tablets a day. Discharged from hospital, while having up to 500 seizures a day, not one of the pharmaceutical medications ever reduced one seizure. In Dec 2014, I knew it was time. It was my duty as a parent to save his life.

Within 48hrs of Jai having Mullaways cannabis tincture, his seizures stopped. As a consequence, every single thing in Jai’s life has improved. No side effects, no negatives, just positive experiences. As of March 2016, two of Jai’s epilepsy syndromes no longer exist. It has vanished!!! He can walk, talk, go to school, and kick a ball. He is very much alive.

Lyn from Tasmania will discuss how cannabis has helped her adult son, Jeremy, who has epilepsy. Jeremy is twenty six years old. He was diagnosed as having refractory epilepsy and an acquired brain injury after severe onset Encephalopathy (Diagnosed as Acute Viral Encephalitis) when he was six years old. He was much later diagnosed as suffering from F.I.R.E.S (Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome) His diagnosis to this day, remains unclear however. Jeremy has endured serious side effects from AEDs (Anti convulsant therapy) with symptoms as benign as gum disease to more serious side effects of anorexia, brittle bones, drug induced psychosis and compromised respiratory function. He trialled and failed all suitable anti convulsant drugs for his seizure type. He was implanted with a Vagal Nerve Stimulator when he was eleven in an effort to control his seizures after brain surgery evaluation deemed him not suitable for brain surgery. This device also failed to offer Jeremy any relief from his seizures. Eventually after the programming wand malfunction the generator was turned off and remains so. Jeremy has seizure foci in all lobes of his brain. His seizure present differently depending on where the seizure activity originates. Jeremy is diagnosed as having partial onset seizures with secondarily generalised tonic clonic seizures. When Jeremy was first diagnosed, we did not have a computer and no internet. All of our learning came directly from his specialists or from reading. That meant that our knowledge of others experience with side effects from anti convulsants was either limited to the neurologists advice or from the information slip that comes with the drugs. It has been very much an experience of trial and error that has spanned two decades.

Jeremy is not seizure free on cannabis therapy, potentially he never will be. He is however healthier than he has ever been, he does not suffer the daily bouts of toxicity he was from the AED therapy. His seizures and residual effect from the brain injury are managed with a very small dose of one AED and home grown cannabis medicines. We continue to seek answers for him.