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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1412 ..

The amendment will ensure that the ACT employs cannabis-sampling processes that are consistent with the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drug and Psychtropic Substances.

Members should note that the Bill installs a number of protective measures for persons accused of, or charged with, cannabis offences under the Act. These include the provision of a right to apply for an order to prevent the destruction of excess cannabis and the right to be informed of this right at the time of being charged.

The amendments will ensure that staff at our government laboratory is not unnecessarily exposed to large amounts of cannabis, that present many occupational health and safety risks, and that there is adequate secure storage facilities in the event of large amounts of cannabis being seized by police.

Over the past two decades the amount of cannabis material received by our government laboratory has risen from just 50 Kilograms in 1980 to over 400 Kilograms in 1999.

If this trend continues and these amendments are not adopted the government would need to invest further significant resources into the secure storage of this material.

The amendments have been developed in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions and representatives of the ACT Legal Aid Office.

I commend this Bill to the Assembly and trust it will receive the support it deserves.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Tobacco Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Moore , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR MOORE: (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (11.13): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I ask for leave to have my speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the Tobacco Amendment Bill 2001.

Last year, the Government proposed, and the Assembly agreed, to a range of important amendments to the Tobacco Act 1927.

These amendments have transformed the way that tobacco and other smoking products are advertised, promoted and displayed in the ACT-and our legislation has provided a benchmark for similar legislation in other States and Territories.

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