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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (30 July) . . Page.. 3011..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

in the world. It is worthy of note that, when I was checking this out, I found that there is a distinct difference between the types of plant. It would be easily recognisable if people were trying to grow the wrong sort of hemp plant just by the look of it.

The ACT is awash with land that could easily be set aside for the cultivation of industrial hemp, particularly as the debate surrounding the regeneration of fire-affected land continues. This bill establishes what I see as an extremely tight but sensible legislative regime for the cultivation of industrial hemp in the ACT and is drafted from analysing similar legislation elsewhere in Australia. There are no surprises in this bill-just commonsense legislative frameworks for a unique and exciting industry. It is an opportunity for Canberra to put itself squarely on the map for something of which we can be proud to be first.

The economic, social education and training spin-offs are immense. I would argue that the spin-offs of industrial hemp cultivation in the ACT could, on a comparative basis, arguably be greater than pine or even perhaps hardwood plantations. We already have companies in the ACT ready to invest and establish training and education programs with regard to industrial hemp. The concerns with illicit drug use are so minimal that they are hardly worth mentioning and, with the debate surrounding the regeneration of fire-affected land, industrial hemp proves an excellent solution.

It is worthy of note that we have moved on and that people are certainly far more educated and intelligent enough to understand the basis of this legislation. With the support of this Assembly in passing this bill, licences could be issued and a much needed unique but exciting industry could easily and quickly be established here in the ACT. The cultivation of industrial hemp in the ACT is exciting. I look forward to debating this bill hopefully before the Assembly retires before the election.

Debate (on motion by Ms Dundas ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Nature Conservation (Native Vegetation Protection) Amendment Bill 2004

Pursuant to standing order 128, Ms Dundas fixed a later hour for the moving of the motion.

Drugs of Dependence (Cannabis for Medical Conditions) Amendment Bill 2004

Ms Tucker, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS TUCKER (10.44): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Drugs of Dependence (Cannabis for Medical Conditions) Amendment Bill 2004 establishes a scheme that permits the medical use of cannabis. I think it has been well established that cannabis can provide relief for a number of conditions, ranging from

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