Despite promising to take seriously the recommendations of the Legislative Council inquiry into the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis, the Hodgman government has copped out at the first opportunity, Green Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said.
“The very reasoned recommendations contained in this Interim Report must be implemented by government as a matter of priority,” Ms O’Connor said.
“There is no good reason to delay the report’s first recommendation that legislation be immediately introduced to provide Tasmanians currently using medicinal cannabis protection from criminal charges.”
“Only last month the Liberals voted against a Greens’ Bill which sought to provide that legal protection, but now in light of this committee’s report the government has no excuse although it has immediately and conveniently found one.”
“Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, uses pleasant sounding weasel words to distance the government from the Committee's recommendations but he is letting down Tasmanians who are, and who would if it were decriminalised, benefit from this natural and effective medicine."
"It demonstrates a profound lack of compassion and a deafness to those Tasmanians who are calling for reform."
"The Tasmanian Government's weak response will no doubt go down badly at the national Medical Cannabis symposium in Tamworth which begins tomorrow.”
“Heartfelt thanks and warm congratulations to the Members on this Upper House Committee for listening to those Tasmanians who currently rely on medicinal cannabis. This Interim Report provides a voice to, and some hope for, these people, their families, carers and friends that common-sense and compassion will ultimately prevail,” Ms O’Connor said.
Ms O’Connor is currently attending the nation’s inaugural medicinal cannabis symposium being held in Tamworth.