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Change of Heart on Medicinal Cannabis Welcome

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Saturday, 23 April 2016

Tags: Medicinal Cannabis, Health, Primary Industries, Controlled Access Scheme

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Premier's announcement that Tasmania will follow in the footsteps of New South Wales and Victoria and legalise access to medicinal cannabis is long awaited and very welcome.

Tasmanians suffering from chronic diseases, epilepsy and a range of debilitating conditions, will be breathing a sigh of relief today.

Hopefully soon they will no longer fear arrest for using this medicine, while others who would like to use it will be able to for the first time legally.

Legalising medicinal cannabis is compassionate, common sense.  

Of course, while we welcome the Liberals' change of heart, we'll be looking closely at the detail when it comes to Parliament.

Medicinal cannabis should be as accessible and affordable as possible for all Tasmanians who need it. 


Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industry spokesperson

We are keen to see the proposed legislation and are ready and willing to help medicinal cannabis become a legal treatment option for Tasmanians suffering with chronic diseases.

Medical cannabis should be an accessible and affordable treatment option for chronically ill Tasmanians.

While Tasmania's proposed laws are broader than Victoria's, there may still be many who fall outside the sphere and will be forced to keep breaking the law.

We should be making this treatment accessible to all those who need it, not making it challenging and restrictive. A controlled access scheme is important, but it remains to be seen how easily navigated the system will be for patients and their families.

Medicinal cannabis is proposed to be legal and available by 2017, but there are still many Tasmanians who are breaking the law now to treat themselves or their children.

Unfortunately, there's nothing in the government's announcement about protection for those people or the police officers currently turning a blind eye.

The Liberals' change of heart is very welcome and we hope the legislation they bring to the Parliament will make it as easy as possible for those who need medicinal cannabis to obtain it.