Fair Driving Laws for Medicinal Cannabis Patients Voted Down
The Liberal-National and Labor Parties have voted down the Greens’ bill tonight to amend the unfair prosecution of medicinal cannabis patients that would have provided them a defence against drug driving charges if they were not impaired and have taken their medicine as prescribed.
The Road Transport Amendment (Medicinal Cannabis - Exemptions from Offences) Bill 2021 was introduced into the Legislative Council on 17 November 2021 by Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and spokesperson for Drug Law Reform and Harm Reduction and was referred to the Upper House Law and Justice Committee which reported on 11 August 2022. The bill was defeated 29 votes to 6.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that the Government and Labor have joined forces to allow these unjustifiable laws to continue to unfairly punish medicinal cannabis patients in NSW,” said Cate Faehrmann.
“Roadside drug tests can detect miniscule traces of THC in the system of a person who has consumed cannabis long after any effects have worn off. Our road laws should have been reformed to reflect his when medical cannabis was legalised five years ago.
“Until our road laws are changed medicinal cannabis users will continue to face discrimination.
“It was very disappointing that government speakers to the bill conflated illicit cannabis with legal medicinal cannabis use. They seemed to have very little understanding of the plight of tens of thousands of medicinal cannabis patients in NSW.
“Increasingly, people are turning to cannabis because it is the only medicine that brings them relief from conditions like PTSD or chronic pain. These patients will now continue to be forced to choose between driving or using the one medicine that works for them.
“Other jurisdictions have successfully allowed cannabis patients to drive and so should NSW.
“Make no mistake. The Greens will be bringing this bill back as a priority in the next term of parliament until this sensible reform gets done,” said Cate Faehrmann.