NSW Parliamentary Committee Hands Down Report in Legalising Medical Use of Cannabis

Monday 20 May 2013 @ 1.10 p.m. | Legal Research

In a NSW Parliamentary Committee Report handed down on 17 May 2013, the Committee has recommended legalising the medical use of marijuana and cannabis for people with terminal conditions including but not limited to those in severe chronic pain or those for whom HIV has progressed to AIDS.

In 2000, the then-NSW premier Bob Carr also commissioned a report on medicinal cannabis from a distinguished committee. The committee strongly recommended the state government allow cannabis use for medicinal purposes. However there were moral issues with implementation and problems with the reflection on the ban on recreational use of marijuana and cannabis.

The new committee recommends a combination of approaches to allow medicinal cannabis use without encouraging recreational supply. These include:

  • expansion of access to approved cannabis pharmacotherapies by additional patient groups and further clinical trials

  • defences for cannabis possession for small personal use amounts through amendments to the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)

  • establishment of a register of authorised cannabis users and carers

  • consideration of lawful supply of crude cannabis products for medical purposes

  • education of the medical profession surrounding cannabis use

It will be interesting to see whether recommendations by the current committee are put into practice or whether prohibition of recreational use will again prevent compassionate use of cannabis to reduce suffering for people with serious medical conditions

Sources:

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