The sudden intervention by the Commonwealth to overturn Norfolk Island’s approval for medicinal cannabis trials is a predictable display of narrow-minded and petty politics, Greens Health spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.
“The Abbott government’s nasty and highly political decision to overturn these trials on Norfolk Island is a blow to the many Australians for whom these trials offered some hope,” Ms O’Connor said.
“Tasmanians who support the legalisation of medical cannabis will also be bitterly disappointed by the self-righteous position of Health Minister, Michael Ferguson, who claims the Abbott Government’s intervention ‘vindicates’ his rejection of a trial.”
“It defies reason that the two conservative governments haven’t colluded to kybosh medicinal cannabis at the expense of people who are suffering chronic conditions for which conventional treatments provide limited relief.”
“Instead, the arrogant and petty intervention by the Commonwealth over the Australian Territory of Norfolk Island, highlights the important role that a sovereign state such as Tasmania could, and must, play to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to recognising the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis.”
“At some stage the Liberals must put aside their ideological opposition and recognise the futility of claiming a lack of research to justify medicinal cannabis, and then prevent that research being undertaken.”
“It is the compassionate and responsible thing to do to proceed with medicinal cannabis trials, and to do so as a matter of urgency.”
“In New South Wales the Liberal Premier, his national Party Deputy Premier, the Labor Opposition Leader and the Greens are all moving to legislate to provide for the use of medicinal cannabis, and a Bill has been released for public comment in the ACT.”
“Locally, the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation has come out in support, as have numerous regional local councils, and all twelve southern councils involved in ‘Think South.’ The list continues to grow.”
“Federally and locally, the Liberals are exposed as being woefully out of step with community expectations over the provision of medicinal cannabis.”
“They may have stalled the inevitable when it comes to the Norfolk Island trials, but the momentum of public and medical support will only grow.”
“The Norfolk Island government recognised the compassionate imperative and the economic potential of medicinal cannabis and they are clearly determined to still push ahead to secure these trials despite the Commonwealth’s intervention. Tasmania should follow suit,” Ms O’Connor said.