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Multi-party group puts medicinal cannabis on the agenda



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Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform

19/6/2014

Multi-party group puts medicinal cannabis on the agenda

The recently re-established Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform believes that the time has come for Australia push beyond the stigma which bans medicinal cannabis.

The cross party group, co-convened by federal Coalition, Labor and Greens parliamentarians has today advanced the discussion on medicinal cannabis by hosting an event on the issue at Parliament House, which was attended by representatives of all major parties.

Greens Senator and co-convenor of the group, Dr Richard Di Natale said that the evidence is clear that medicinal cannabis can be effective for relieving nausea, pain and weight loss in people with a terminal illness.

“To deny effective medication to someone with a terminal illness simply because of stigma is cruel,” said Dr Di Natale, Greens health spokesperson and a former GP. “Like all drugs it would need to be regulated but there is no reason why the government shouldn’t license medicinal cannabis growers in the same way we license poppy growers.

Liberal MP and co-convenor of the group, Sharman Stone said “Significant numbers of random trials have demonstrated the last resort value of using medicinal cannabis to relieve some of the terrible suffering associated with some terminal cancers and other conditions. As a compassionate society we must join other developed nations in allowing the regulated use of medicinal cannabis.”

Labor MP and co-convenor of the group, Melissa Parke said, “It’s time for Australia to move forward on this issue.”

“The story we heard from Lucy Haslam, whose son Dan is only able to achieve respite from terrible pain and vomiting through the use of cannabis was utterly compelling. I am glad there is the prospect of multi-party cooperation on this issue and hope we can make what really is a common sense reform.”

Media Contact - Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600