Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Member for Bass
The continued confusion and anger of Tasmanians around access to medicinal cannabis is being exacerbated by the mixed messages coming from the Hodgman Government.
Government announcements that flowed with self-congratulation and fanfare have faded to vague statements - and no action.
It’s deeply disappointing the MOU with New South Wales hasn't included Tasmanian patients, nor included any Tasmanian growers. Despite the Premier standing with former NSW Premier Baird and talking up the need for access and reform on medicinal cannabis, it’s meant nothing to Tasmanians.
Michael Ferguson's Controlled Access Scheme is supposed to be available by the end of the year, but there’s no real information about it. Chronically or terminally ill Tasmanians and their families don't know whether they can access the scheme or where they will stand under the law.
Details like which specialists will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis aren’t clear and patients who are currently accessing pain relief illegally are no closer to a formal solution than they were before last year's announcement.
People using cannabis medicinally are still being charged by police, despite the assurances from the government. Police officers have to make on the spot decisions about a person's medical need, because of the Liberals' inaction.
Chronically ill Tasmanians are being let down by their government and exposed to criminal charges. It is Tasmania Police who are being left to clean up the Liberals' legislative mess.
There are many Tasmanians who currently have no choice but to break the law to ease their own pain and suffering, or that of their loved ones. It's unfeeling of the Liberals give them false hope.