My name is Sam Connolly and my Mother is Elizabeth Humble. I wish to share our story about Australian Cannabis Laws and what they have meant to us and many other First Nation People in Australia.
Approximately seven years ago the Dept Of Community Services (DOCS) removed my two daughters from my custody. The reason for this was because i made a terrible mistake at DOC’s, I told the truth and confessed that i smoked cannabis recreationally on occasion, in the evening after my children went to sleep. Consequently Shantaya who is now 11 years old and Kara Lee who is now 7 years old were taken from me with and i get very little contact. As i mentioned before this was seven years ago.
My Mother Aunty Mimmie (the children’s Grandmother) was also helping me to keep our children and she is lucky as she has permission to see them once a month for one single day. Shantea has been with many different families and is now in a State control, Kara Lee has been with the same family for five years. I am a good loving father and my mother is a beautiful loving grandmother. Having our children taken from us, for me mentioning that i smoked cannabis, was absolutely heartbreaking. As a result of this action i became very angry and my mother Mimmie became very depressed. To help us the doctors prescribed anger management drugs and anti-depressants for my Mother.
When i applied to try and get some kind of custodial arrangement to see my children i needed to pass a DOCS medical. Unfortunately because my mother and i were on anger management drugs and drugs for anti-depression we were unable to pass the medical to even begin the process of being able to legally see our own children/grandchildren.
About two years ago , through some lovely people i met, i found The Church Of Ubuntu and i have now been on medicinal cannabis for nearly two years. I am no longer on any prescribed drugs for anger management or bipolar disorder. My Mother is now also on medicinal cannabis and has successfully stopped all her medications for the last six months.
My name is Elizabeth Humble and Sam is my Son. I am a Gomeroi/Kamilaroi Elder and one of the oldest living elders with bloodline connection to The Pilliga region in North West NSW. What the Government has done to Sam and I is really terrible. If you confess to using Cannabis DOC’s can and do take your children. The doctor’s medicines they gave us were not good for me and Sam and made us unwell. I was also prescribed drugs (like Sam) that we didn’t actually need or have the conditions to require their use. We now use medicinal cannabis and it has had a huge impact on both our lives. We are both happier and our health has improved both physically and emotionally. I don’t know how we can get my grandchildren back, even if it’s just to have a little more time with them. For us and many others, the stolen generation still continues today, any contact with cannabis and you are persecuted, and here we are two of many living examples that this is a good natural God Given Plant that can be very very helpful for people. I am a devout Christian and i believe that it is my fundamental right to use Cannabis as mentioned in both the bible and in our Black Fella Sacred Lore. The Government has no right to take our children from us and we want them back.
Many people are frightened to mention they use cannabis because like us they too could lose their children, we however have nothing to lose as our children were taken from us years ago…………….and for what ? This is not right or just, we are standing with the many thousands of Australians to change these laws and to get our children back. Lots of love Aunty Mimmie & Sam.