News

Push for medical use of cannabis gains Premier's support

SUPPORT: Dr Graham Irvine, a sessional lecturer in the School of Law and Justice at SCU, has used his personal experience to base a thesis on medicinal cannabis.
SUPPORT: Dr Graham Irvine, a sessional lecturer in the School of Law and Justice at SCU, has used his personal experience to base a thesis on medicinal cannabis. Cathy Adams

A BILL launched to protect certified medical users of cannabis from prosecution under NSW law has garnered support from a university academic and the Premier.

If it passes through NSW parliament, the Drug Legislation Amendment Bill of 2014 will permit people with a terminal illness to apply, on the recommendation of their treating doctor to the NSW Department of Health, for a card that would exempt them and their carers from prosecution for possession of 15 grams or less of crude cannabis.

Southern Cross University adjunct fellow Dr Graham Irvine, the first person in Australia approved to use medicinal cannabis for medical purposes, said the bill was based on a model he suggested in his PhD thesis.

"I have personally come into contact with some really sad situations with people who are dying and the only thing that allows them some respite is the medicinal cannabis, or indeed smoking cannabis," he said.

Dr Irvine, a Parkinson's disease sufferer, said approved users of cannabis and their carers should be immune from prosecution.

"We are talking about little old ladies who might be in a nursing home and they have got no access to the normal ways people in society obtain their cannabis," he said.

Dr Irvine said some older people who try cannabis and find it beneficial would be prosecuted for obtaining the drug illegally, if they are physically able, otherwise their carers could face prosecution.

"This bill would allow us to separate the people who have a genuine medical need for cannabis from other users."

Greens MP John Kaye welcomed Thursday's supportive comments from Premier Mike Baird on the issue of the legalisation of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

"The Greens don't care who drafts the legislation or introduces it, as long as it takes away the dreadful choice between breaking the law and suffering faced by too many cancer patients," he said.

Topics:  cannabis, editors picks, medicine




Ballina sports space sold to developer for hefty sum

FOR SALE: The State Government is selling a large block of land at Quays Dr, West Ballina.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate

Rare open green space sold to property developer

Northern Rivers blueberry grower wins national award

Natalie Bell and father Ridley Bell from Mountain Blue Farms were excited to receive a major award from Coles.

Blueberry grower triumps with new juicy, flavoursome fruit variety.

Ten things to do this week

CRAFY OCCASION: Co-ordinator of the Alstonville-Wollongbar Quota Club's Arts, Craft and Garden Fair, Susan French (left) with club president Diana Cooper holding a decorated boot which is part of a campaign in support of an organisation lobbyng for more service for those with depression.

Music, craft, rugby, theatre and more

Latest deals and offers

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

Opinion: Is streaming the way to go?

Online CD and digital music are starting to decrease

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

Priscilla is coming to Brunswick Heads

Northern Rivers gender illusionist Maude Boate (Michael Gates) promoting the upcoming screenings of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Brunswick Picture House.

Maude Boate will host two special screenings

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m