Australian Greens health spokesperson and Co-convenor of the Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that a medicinal cannabis trial falls short of the reform we need.
“I welcome the fact that every government in the country now recognises that we need to change our approach to medicinal cannabis but a trial alone is not enough,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP.
“Of course we should continue to trial the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for conditions where there is emerging anecdotal evidence but a trial shouldn’t stop people from accessing it where we already have sufficient evidence.
“There is already overwhelming international evidence that medicinal cannabis can provide relief from conditions like nausea, pain and muscle spasms. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have been needlessly denied access to this kind of medical relief for far too long. “Medicinal cannabis should be made available for those conditions where it has been proven to be effective now, without delay, without a trial.
“In the next sitting fortnight I intend to introduce a bill that would establish an independent body to regulate supply, distribution and access to medicinal cannabis, using the existing body of evidence.
“The Prime Minister said himself that ‘something that’s been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn’t need to be tested here again’. So I’m calling on Mr Abbott to show some real leadership and get behind my bill so that we can, to use his words again, cut through the ‘thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self-interest’.”
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600