The Liberal Government is supportive of trials and potential use of medicinal cannabis in Tasmania, subject to a proper evidence-based approach, strong local regulatory framework and appropriate approvals from national regulators.
The Premier put the issue of a national approach to medicinal cannabis use on the COAG agenda earlier this year, and as a result Health Ministers from across the country are working together to explore the potential for use of cannabis-derived products for medicinal purposes.
I note that the committee’s recommendations endorse the Liberal Government’s position regarding cooperation on clinical research and trials between jurisdictions and a national approach regarding a regulatory framework.
We have previously said we will not be moving to legislate, as recommended by the Legislative Council committee today, as advice from Tasmania Police is it’s not necessary and could potentially create a new set of problems including opening up the risk that people would self-medicate, with no licensing or limit to quantity.
The Police Commissioner has said Tasmania Police will not seek to criminally pursue terminally ill users of cannabis, or people who have appeared before the Legislative Council inquiry, or commented on the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
The Government will review the report and will await the committee’s final report and recommendations.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health