Candidate’s unconventional answer to ice scourge
A mother and business woman has joined the race for the seat of Ipswich in the upcoming state election to continue her fight to legalise cannabis.
Shelly Morton has been named as Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party's candidate for Ipswich.
She currently runs a female cannabis support group called Her Highness, which has more than 10,000 members across Australia.
She said she was dedicated to trying to stop the stigma around how women use cannabis, whether it is for period pain, chronic illness, mental health or social reasons.
"I'm sick to death of being looked at as a bad mum because I smoke a plant," she said.
"People think because you smoke a bong you're very lazy, you don't have any work ethic, you don't have any morals, they just literally look down on you because you smoke a plant through a device.
"They don't see what it really does medical wise, how much it helps mental illness, insomnia, eating disorders."
Ms Morton said it should be viewed the same way as those who smoke cigarettes or enjoy a glass of wine at night, but with more benefits.
"There are that many different strands, different types, different flavours, different smokes that we can literally cure cancer, we can literally cure epilepsy. There's so much we can help with," she said.
The mother has had her own battles over the years and relies on cannabis for pain relief for her endometriosis.
She has also previously been diagnosed with drug induced bipolar and schizophrenia.
She said cannabis helped her stay away from hard drugs and could help others too.
The party claims legalising cannabis can help reduce drug crime statistics and that it can be used as an exit drug for dangerous substances.
Ms Morton said she was passionate about changing the laws to allow that to happen in Ipswich.
"So many of my girls have been through addictions, but cannabis is the one thing that keeps them off the addiction. It helps so much," she said.
She said if elected, she would also focus on roads, schools, drug addiction and youth.
"There needs to be a place for people to go, once they're clean, to stay clean," she said.
"If I do win the election, my main focus is the youth. I want to go around and speak to as many kids as I can."