Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The Greens welcome the Premier’s announcement today about access to medical cannabis.
It is welcome news for many people suffering chronic pain and other conditions unable to be managed by conventional medicines. For too long, too many Tasmanian patients have been forced into illegally accessing cannabinol products for chronic conditions.
After being forced into reform three and a half years ago, then Minister for Health Michael Ferguson made it as difficult as possible for patients to access medical cannabis. Mr Ferguson’s Controlled Access Scheme was so controlled hardly anyone could access it.
We are pleased that as Premier, Peter Gutwein has been able to unpick these ideologically-driven restrictions. It’s the evidence-based thing to do; it’s the compassionate thing to do.
We look forward to receiving more information about how the state scheme will work alongside the national counterpart, and how affordable medical products will be.
Further information will need to be provided by the Government on whether Tasmania will join the Therapeutic Goods Administration's single national online scheme, or continue to lag behind by imposing state-based restrictions.
Tasmania should take up the Commonwealth’s standing offer to participate in the online scheme, in full, and commit to the condition of processing applications within 48 hours.
It is critical medical cannabis is affordable and accessible. No patient should be stopped from accessing treatment due to where they live or how little they earn.