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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2012 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

On that note, I would like to clarify that I have never been an advocate of the use of drugs or the misuse of drugs. I have always been an advocate of a change in policy. I think a change in policy will assist in reducing the spread of drugs and the use of drugs.

Mr Wood raised an important issue about research. Results of the research on buprenorphine will become public over the next few months. Buprenorphine has been a much more successful treatment drug than naltrexone. When naltrexone was introduced some years ago, many people saw it as a miracle drug. There are no miracle solutions in drug treatment. We must have the widest range of options available and continue to improve treatments.

Mr Rugendyke raised that issue. I appreciate his support for the legislation. Mrs Burke also supports a wide range of treatment options. Different treatments suit different people. That means making sure that our opioid dependency treatment centres are also able to prescribe naltrexone, buprenorphine and methadone. Methadone is still the single most successful treatment. That may change as treatments vary. We also need to continue our work with the support behind those treatments-the counselling and so forth. I think we are all agreed on that, and I greatly appreciate the support for that part of the legislation.

The cannabis provisions have been some time in coming, because I took very seriously the sorts of issues raised by Ms Tucker. The matter was first raised with me very shortly after I became minister three years ago, but it has taken a long time to sort through the issues and to make sure that consultation was appropriate.

There are still doubts in my mind as to whether we have got it absolutely right. I think we need to observe how it goes and make sure that it does not create problems, particularly the sorts of problems Ms Tucker raised about justice in our community. We certainly take on board those issues, which apply not just here but broadly across our legal system.

I appreciate members' support for the bill and their foreshadowed support for the amendments I will be moving in a moment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (11.28): I seek leave to move the amendments circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.


: I move the amendments circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 2115]. These amendments allow the dispensing of buprenorphine in the same way as we dispense methadone. We will not be able to proceed with this until August, when

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