Medicinal Cannabis has been the subject of much discussion but little proactive action until now. NSW Labor has drafted legislation and will introduce it to the NSW Parliament that will see those who rely on medicinal cannabis no longer in fear of being arrested.
Key recommendations from a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry have been adopted into the legislation.
The legislation will seek to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of cannabis (up to 15 grams) for treatment of chronic and serious medical conditions for medically certified sufferers and their carers. Presently people who purchase cannabis to aid in alleviating the pain can be convicted under the Crimes Act (1900).
Illnesses or conditions that are expected to result in death or a substantial decline in an individual’s quality of life would also be considered under the legislation.
The terminally and chronically ill and their carers will be required to receive photo identification and medical certification from NSW Health under the legislation.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Illawarra Ryan Park:
This legislation will go a long way to helping ease some of the stress that is placed not only on the sufferers but also their extended families.
The Government needs to work with us in a bi-partisan way. The aim needs to be ensuring 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 have met many people over the last four years who are suffering from the painful effects that diseases, like cancer, ravage on their body. It takes a great toll on them and their families.
Patients who seek pain relief are not criminals and should not be treated as such. We need to show compassion and remove barriers that create unnecessary anguish.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wollongong Paul Scully:
This legislation is not about condoning the recreational use of this drug. However it is vital that we look at ways to regulate the supply to ensure those who genuinely need it are accessing it to alleviate pain.
I look at examples like Ben Oakley who suffers from debilitating pain associated with Stiff Person syndrome, and medicinal cannabis has proven effective in alleviating his pain and allowed him a greater quality of life. These are sufferers who have tried everything possible and they have all but given up hope.
This legislation will remove an unnecessary barrier for sufferers of terminal and chronic illnesses.
This Bill deserves bi-partisan support.
Illnesses that would be taken to be terminal or serious medical conditions:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV);
(c) motor neurone disease;
the neurological disorder known as stiff person syndrome;
severe and treatment-resistant nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy; or
pain associated with cancer; or
neuropathic pain; or
an illness or condition declared by the regulations to be a terminal or serious medical condition.