The Tasmanian Greens will move to establish a Parliamentary Committee inquiry into the potential legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the state, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor said today.
“The Greens have long supported calls from medical professionals for more research and clinical trials as well as regulated access to medicinal cannabis, as there are many individual stories of improved symptoms and quality of life from people who've used medicinal cannabis,” Ms O’Connor said.
“It is disappointing that the Health Minister has seen fit to be dismissive of this important medical issue, trivialising it by referencing people ‘smoking pot’, and then hand-balling responsibility to the federal arena.”
“We believe it is timely for Tasmania to undertake a rigorous examination into how the state can best regulate or legislate for the use of medicinal cannabis, and the Greens will move to establish a parliamentary inquiry when Parliament resumes.”
“Such an inquiry would examine contemporary scientific and medical research, engage with health consumers and professionals, explore any relevant federal and state jurisdictional considerations, and, most importantly, require public consultation which will provide an avenue for politicians to hear directly from doctors and patients affected.”
“For too long, the development of contemporary and safe cannabis policy has been highly politicised, which has shrouded its medical potential in a cloud of controversy. A tripartite parliamentary committee should assist in removing politics and instead focus on the facts, and assisting people in need.”
“We know that there is growing scientific evidence of the benefits of the medicinal use of cannabis for the relief of pain and symptoms associated with cancer, HIV AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, neurological conditions, seizures and to slow the progression of Alzheimer's Disease, to mention a few.”
“We know that the use of medicinal cannabis has now been legalized and regulated in 22 U.S. States and Washington DC.”
“We know there is growing support among doctors, specialists and nursing professionals for the legalization of cannabis use for medical purposes in Australia.”
“And we know there are Tasmanians with chronic medical and neurological conditions who believe they will benefit from being able to access and use medicinal cannabis.”
“So it is now time we do something about ensuring Tasmania does not fall behind in medical research, and that Tasmanians can access the help they need to assist maintaining quality of life.”
“The Greens hope that both the Liberal and Labor parties will see past easy and cheap prejudices, and support the establishment of this inquiry for the sake of those Tasmanians suffering now, their families and loved one,” Ms O’Connor said.