Change Agents

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Change Agents: Alex Wodak and Lucy Haslam on the push to legalise medicinal cannabis

Lucy Haslam and Alex Wodak helped convince the public and politicians that the time for legalised medicinal cannabis had come. AAP/Alan Porritt

Change Agents: Alex Wodak and Lucy Haslam on the push to legalise medicinal cannabis

Change Agents: The push to legalise medicinal cannabis. CC BY-NC-SA46.9 MB (download)

In 2016 three Australian states and the Commonwealth passed laws to legalise the growing of medicinal cannabis. It was an extraordinary result for a campaign that struggled for decades to gain traction.

Suddenly the push had taken off in the public imagination, prompting state and then federal politicians to agree to the cultivation and prescription of cannabis for people suffering from a wide range of conditions.

In this episode of Change Agents, Andrew Dodd speaks to Lucy Haslam, who launched the grassroots campaign in New South Wales after her son Dan was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and Alex Wodak, the president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. Together they convinced the public and politicians the time for change had come.


Change Agents is a collaboration between The Conversation and the Swinburne Business School and Swinburne University’s Department of Media and Communication. It is presented by Andrew Dodd and produced by Samuel Wilson and Andrew Dodd, with production by Heather Jarvis.