The recommendations from the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on legalising medical cannabis are very welcome in Tasmania, where we have an already well established need for law reform.

The Committee handed down its findings late yesterday, recommending support for the Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis Bill.

The strong cross-party support for Senator Richard di Natale’s original Bill is evidence this issue is beyond politics. It proves what we have known for some time, medical cannabis can alleviate the everyday pain and suffering of people with chronic conditions.

We have seen real leadership from the NSW Government and now from Canberra, but what we are yet to see is anything of substance on this important issue from our own State government.

The Hodgman Liberal Government had the chance to lead the way on medical cannabis, but they shied away from it at every opportunity, making excuse after excuse to justify depriving suffering Tasmanians of this medicine.

Let’s hope – for the sake of sick Tasmanians now and in the future – the Liberals don’t ignore the Senate Committee report in the same way they did the report of the Legislative Council, which called for urgent reform.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Health spokesperson