Currently in Australia the use and cultivation of cannabis is illegal in all Australian jurisdictions for medicinal purposes.
Despite this, the use of medicinal cannabis for adults and children suffering a variety of life-threatening illnesses is widespread.
Medicinal cannabis (in varying forms) is available in many overseas jurisdictions.
In October 2014, the Australian states and the Commonwealth reached agreement to collaborate on the issue of medicinal cannabis with NSW to lead research through clinical trials.
In November 2014 a Tasmanian Legislative Council Committee recommended urgent legislative reform to enable preparation, cultivation and supply of medicinal cannabis in Tasmania – recommendations which were hastily rejected by the incumbent Liberal Government.
In December 2014 NSW announced it would be undertaking clinical trials to explore the use of cannabis and cannabis products for a variety of patients.
In October 2015, the Victorian Government announced it would introduce a legislative framework to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis for children with severe epilepsy, expanding to other conditions over time.
In February 2016 both the Federal and Victorian Governments began debate on legislation in their respective parliaments to allow for the cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medicinal cannabis for a limited number of medical conditions.
Labor’s Compassionate Approach
Tasmanian Labor believes in adopting a compassionate approach towards assisting unwell people to be able to obtain and use legally prescribed medicinal cannabis.
Currently many Tasmanians are in the intolerable position of having to choose between watching people they care for suffer or breaking the law.
That is why an elected Labor Government will immediately introduce state legislation to:
Decriminalise the possession and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes for people with severe epilepsy, multiple sclerosis,
cancer or HIV/AIDS treatment and severe chronic pain, where approved by two specialists, with other conditions to be considered by an Independent Medical Advisory Committee.
Allow for the licensed cultivation, manufacture and dispensing of medicinal cannabis in Tasmania.
Labor will build on the clinical trials of medical cannabis in NSW and Victoria, using the capabilities and expertise of Tasmanian businesses in collaboration with the University of Tasmania.