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Senate Committee unanimously endorses medicinal cannabis bill

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee unanimously recommended today that the Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis Bill be passed into law. The bill was introduced by Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale and co-sponsored by Senator Ian McDonald, Senator Anne Urquhart and Senator David Leyonhjelm.

“The committee’s unanimous endorsement of the bill is a significant step towards achieving medicinal cannabis reform,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Top Five things Richard has learnt in Portugal

Richard is in Portugal on a study tour to investigate the way in which Portugal has reduced its heroin addicted population by implementing genuine drug law reform -- and it couldn’t be more different to Australia.  Where our politicians frequently declare “war on drugs,” make promises to crack down on drug users and implement zero tolerance policies; Portugal treats individual drug use as a health issue - not a criminal one. Here are the top five things Richard has learnt so far.

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Healthier climate means healthier people: Lancet

The Australian Greens have welcomed a report in The Lancet medical journal, which highlights the huge opportunity to improve public health through action on global warming.

"Cutting pollution won't just maintain the status quo - it will make our entire population more healthy, which means more productive and more prosperous," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

"People get overwhelmed by the climate change doomsday scenarios, but we need pay more attention to all the ways we can make life better if we do cut pollution.

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Greens welcome Medicare review

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today welcomed the government’s announced reviews of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and primary health care.

“The Greens have been calling for a review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and an exploration of alternative models in primary care for some time, so we welcome the government’s announcement today.

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Australia must re-invest in Ebola-affected region

Australian Greens health spokesperson and public health specialist, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that while the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has stabilised, Australia should not be reducing our contribution to the area.

“Every cent recouped from Australia’s contribution to the Aspen Medical treatment centre in Sierra Leone should be reinvested in the region,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Abbott holding our health to ransom

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today responded to the Australian Medical Association’s damning public hospital report card.

“The Abbott government is holding the country’s health to ransom in a transparent effort to force the states into begging for the GST to rise,” said Senator Di Natale.

“When governments play politics with health funding it’s the Australian public that pay the price. And today’s report card from the AMA shows the real world consequences of treating health care as a bargaining chip.

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Ice taskforce must focus on prevention, harm reduction and treatment

Australian Greens health spokesperson and former drug and alcohol clinician, Dr Richard Di Natale, today called for the new taskforce on ice to focus its attention on prevention, harm reduction and treatment rather than tougher law enforcement.

“The Greens welcome the establishment of a taskforce to deal with crystal methamphetamine but history tells us that we can’t enforce our way out of the illicit drug problem,” said Senator Di Natale.

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Greens renew call for Clean Air Act

Australian Greens health spokesperson, Dr Richard Di Natale has applauded environment groups across Australia on their continued campaign for an independent regulator to enforce national air pollution standards.

"Protecting the health of Australians should be of paramount importance to the parliament which is why the Greens are calling for a Clean Air Act to cut toxic pollution and help keep our most precious resource clean and healthy," said Senator Di Natale.

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WHO finding on Roundup should spark review

Rachel Siewert 26 Mar 2015

Australian Greens spokesperson on health, Dr Richard Di Natale, and Greens spokesperson on agriculture, Senator Rachel Siewert, today responded to a finding from the World Health Organisation that glyphosate, the principle compound in Roundup ‘probably’ causes cancer.

“This report from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer is extremely concerning,” said Senator Di Natale, a former GP and public health specialist.

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