ONJ: Australia should see cannabis as medicine not a drug
Olivia Newton-John says cannabis has saved her life and hopes Australians can treat it as a medicine not a drug.
Diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2017, Newton-John hasn't had radiation in two years and is only using natural therapies.
"I think I am living beyond what people expected and I will continue to do so," Newton-John said.
"I think it's wrong when doctors say 'You've got this long to live.' How do they know? We don't know.
"I've met many women who are told they are not going to live much longer and they're still here. You must not believe that because it's like pointing the bone, you tell someone they're going to die and they believe it and they will. I think that's wrong."
With lockdown ruling out her usual ONJ Walk for her Melbourne Cancer and Wellness Centre, the singer has now launched The Olivia Newton-John Foundation.
"I want to expand what we're doing in Melbourne to the rest of the world and try and find kinder treatments for cancer, that's my goal."
Newton-John revealed she and husband John Easterling, a plant medicine specialist, grow their own cannabis in a greenhouse on their property in California.
"It's legal to grow it here, so many plants per person," Newton-John said. "I feel very lucky I am here and able to talk about cancer like this, a lot of that is being married to such a wonderful man who specialises in plant medicine, he's been able to make cannabis tinctures for me.
"I know Australia is a bit behind the rest of the world with cannabis, but I'm hoping eventually Australia will realise that cannabis is a medicine and it can help people. I'd been on morphine for six months after I left the Wellness Centre (in 2018) and weaned myself off it with cannabis. That's really important.
"You don't die from cannabis, but there's people dying every day from opiates. I want to do the scientific research on this so we can help people learn more, that's why I set up the Foundation.
"I think we'll catch up in Australia, the research will eventually prove it. I know a lot of people use cannabis as a medicine in Australia, they just can't get it easily. Why not make it easier for people to get, particularly those suffering with pain, why not make their lives easier? And it won't endanger them."
With the 72-year-old being at high risk for COVID due to her age and health, she has spent lockdown at home, clearing out awards, handwritten lyrics, stage outfits, memorabilia, artwork and personal items for an online auction of over 300 items, including Zoom chats with fans.
The auction will be held on November 30, with registration now open at juliensauctions.com, all proceeds will benefit the ONJ Foundation.
The singer said the recent death of Kelly Preston, wife of her Grease co-star John Travolta, motivated her work to eradicate cancer.
"Kelly was a delightful person, a lovely, sweet and gentle being, Obviously it was a terrible tragedy, it reinforced the work I'm doing. I've lost too many friends, I'd lost two other women I knew that much, it was too much but it just inspired me to keep going with the ONJ Foundation."
Newton-John also praised Helen Reddy, was passed away last month. Reddy was based in America from 1966 and was friends with Newton-John from Melbourne.
"Helen encouraged me to move to America, she said 'Listen love if you want to make it in America you need to be here'. At that time I was living in England, I was coming back and forth. It really made me think, I had nothing keeping me in England so I came to America.
Helen was a powerhouse, she was so gifted, she really led the way for a lot of us Aussies."
Originally published as ONJ: Australia should see cannabis as medicine not a drug