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Greens take action in the Senate to make it easier to access medicinal cannabis

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 14 Feb 2017

As Parliament returns for the first sitting fortnight of the year, the Australian Greens have lodged a motion to stop the Government’s proposed restrictions medicinal cannabis

Dr Richard Di Natale, Greens Leader and Health Spokesperson, said today, “With this latest round of regulations, the Government has tried to add unnecessary time, stress, and difficulty for terminally ill patients to access medicinal cannabis. This is something the Australian Greens will not accept.

"The test of this regulation is whether it makes it easier for patients with medically approved conditions to legally and affordably access medicinal cannabis products through their doctor. It has clearly failed that test, and so we will be working within the Senate to prevent the Government from proceeding down this route.

“Terminally ill patients who are using medicinal cannabis to alleviate their suffering have been let down by a Government that has previously demonstrated support for improving access to medicinal cannabis in Australia.

“Instead of introducing this regulation, the Federal Government needs to actively engage with the TGA, state governments, and with doctors and pharmacists to make sure that we overcome the many barriers that still stand between patients and the medicine they need.

How you can help

Contact  cross-bench Senators and ask them to support our regulation. We have until the end of the month to convince them to support our motion to block the Government’s plan.  

Background to this regulation

In November, the TGA changed the classification of medicinal cannabis that should have made it easier for patients and their doctors by reducing the red-tape faced by terminally ill people accessing medicinal cannabis products from overseas.

However, at the same time, the Government also introduced this regulation that effectively undermined the TGAs ruling and has effectively made it harder, not easier, for terminally ill patients to access medicinal cannabis.

More information about the Greens position on Medicinal Cannabis

For more information about why this issue is some important and about the Greens stance on medicinal cannabis, see Richard’s speech to the Senate in 2016:

http://richard-di-natale.greensmps.org.au/articles/medcan-narcotic-drugs-amendment-bill-2016

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