Richard Di Natale

Medicinal Cannabis coming to Australia

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As more states and countries around the world start legalising cannabis the pressure is going to come on John Key to look at legalisation of cannabis sooner rather than later.

Tony Abbott is a convert and his government is moving to legislate for the introduction of medicinal cannabis.

The federal government would be given oversight over the production and distribution of medical cannabis under new legislation to make the make the drug available to patients with chronic pain.

The push to legalise medical cannabis is gathering pace, with Greens Senator Richard Di Natale, chairman of the cross-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, now finalising a bill that is set to be introduced into Parliament next month.

Supporters of legalised medical cannabis have been buoyed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s strong public support for the legalisation of the drug for medical use.

“I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates,” Mr Abbott wrote in a letter to 2GB radio host Alan Jones, dated August 23.

“If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose ? and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality.”

Jones, who has been campaigning in support of medical cannabis, read Mr Abbott’s letter on air earlier this month.

Senator Di Natale, a former GP, is also pushing for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to create a special category for the drug so that it can be available with a doctor’s prescription. The TGA currently lists cannabis as a prohibited substance. ? Read more »

Looks like the Aussie are going to repeal the plain packaging law

Oh dear, it looks like the Libs are going to have a crack at repealing the plain packaging laws that has landed Australian in a WTO court case.

On top of that they are also going to roll back other nanny state laws.

COALITION backbenchers want to repeal the tobacco plain packaging laws, warning that the policy reflects Labor?s ?addiction to nanny state policies? such as the alcopops tax and FuelWatch.

As public-health advocates yesterday debated industry figures showing a 0.3 per cent rise in tobacco sales under plain packaging, revealed in?The Australian, Liberal MP Alex Hawke likened the initia?tive to other ?nanny state? policies that Labor pursued, ?even when it appeared they wouldn?t work?.

?I think our policy should be evidence-based and where governments get the best bang for their buck; that is on individual responsibility, rather than big government,? Mr Hawke said. He said the tobacco policy had failed and it should ?absolutely? be revisited.

Queensland Nationals MP George? Christensen said this week that plain packaging signalled an ?inch-by-inch encroachment into our personal lives?. Read more »