Page 3774 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 18 October 2005

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This report outlines comprehensively the range of issues related to the potential use of cannabis as a medicinal product. I hope that it helps inform Assembly debate on this issue. I commend the report to the Assembly. I formally table the report on the medicinal use of cannabis and move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.12): First of all, I want to thank Mr Corbell for following up on the undertaking he gave Ms Tucker on the presentation of her bill. I am looking forward to reading the report, which appears to thoroughly canvas a lot of the issues. I take the opportunity to remind the Assembly that, as mentioned, last year my predecessor Kerrie Tucker introduced a bill drafted to facilitate the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and that, since then, I have released an exposure draft of a similar bill prepared for me by the parliamentary counsel. That bill has been on the legislation register since early this year.

I have received several positive responses to this bill from community organisations, but there is yet no response from the medical profession. Consequently, I seek leave to table the exposure draft of the Drugs of Dependence (Cannabis for Medical Conditions Trial) Amendment Bill 2005.

Leave granted.

MS FOSKEY: The key difference between this bill and Ms Tucker’s bill of last year is that this version makes it explicit that the drug is not medically prescribed, supplied or administered. This is in response to some of the concerns that were raised, particularly by doctors, in response to Ms Tucker’s bill.

This amendment to the Drugs of Dependence Act, if it were to proceed, would simply ensure that people with a range of medically determined conditions, where other treatments are agreed to be unsuccessful in addressing symptoms of those conditions, could register themselves to grow, possess and self-administer personal quantities of cannabis.

I understand the ACT government’s caution in approaching this matter, but I remind the Assembly that there are non-medical and non-pharmaceutical strategies available to treat some conditions and these can be, and are being, managed informally and yet responsibly. I have sought to table my bill at this time because I want to ensure that subsequent debate or discussion is inclusive of as wide a range of options as possible. If the bill proceeds to the in-principle and more detailed stage, we will then provide an explanatory statement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Industrial relations

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have received letters from Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public

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