Many will know that I have been a long-time advocate for the availability of medicinal cannabis, and today I have thrown my support behind NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley and his determination to see that chronically ill people in our community can access the benefits that this drug can bring in terms of pain relief and quality of life.

Last year I made it clear that we need to work in a bi-partisan way on this issue with the aim to ensure that those in our community who are suffering and in debilitating pain each and every day can begin to get some comfort from this drug and not feel like a criminal in the process.

I am very supportive of the fact that Luke has put this issue on the agenda because to be frank I think it is one that has been kicked around for too long. We know that people in our community who are suffering from conditions such as cancer could benefit from this drug and we should be doing everything we can to make it available.

Like Luke, I would be very keen to work with the NSW Government on drafting legislation that both enables legitimate use of this drug whilst ensuring that the recreational use of cannabis is still completely and utterly prohibited.

I have met many people over the last four years who are suffering each and every day from the painful effects that diseases like cancer ravage on their body. It takes a great toll on them and their families and I am committed to do whatever I can to ensure we take a more compassionate approach to this issue.