Campaigners fighting for subsidised access to medicinal cannabis for military veterans with PTSD will use the upcoming Royal Commission into defence and veteran suicide to further promote the group’s cause as its petition on topped 15,000 signatories.

Last week, veteran Derek Pyrah, his GP Dr Matty Moore and United in Compassion founder Lucy Haslam met with shadow minister for veterans’ affairs Shayne Neumann who recommended using the commission to push for a change in policy.

Military veteran and campaigner Derek Pyrah

Pyrah said: “The thought of standing up at the Royal Commission to tell my story is a little nerve wracking, but they need to hear how PTSD is impacting veterans and their families.” 

He added: “I will say this: we don’t need to wait for the Royal Commission to fix medicinal cannabis access for veterans, the DVA could fix this today with a simple policy change [and] give veterans more choice in how they treat and manage their PTSD condition. A change today would likely save a veteran’s life tomorrow.”

Pyrah is pushing for a meeting with minister for veterans’ affairs Andrew Gee. He said Gee’s office has acknowledged the petition, but claimed the minister didn’t have time for a meeting.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

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  1. Thank you for this coverage, Martin. FYI, I was also at the meeting with Shayne Neumann, to represent, with Lucy, AMCA and SCCAC. Access for veterans to medicinal cannabis is a very high priority for both of our organisations and our members. Both AMCA and SCCAC have had intentions to make a submission to the Royal Commission since it was announced and will do so before the deadline currently set for March 2022. Gail Wiseman, General Manager, AMCA.