‘Ambitious’ cannabis trial needed: Foley

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Hundreds gathered at the Nimbin town hall on Saturday calling for medical marijuana reform as the new NSW Labor leader Luke Foley said more action was needed. NSW needs a more ambitious medicinal cannabis program than the scheme being proposed by the Baird government, Labor leader Luke Foley says. Image from

Hundreds gathered at the Nimbin town hall on Saturday calling for medical marijuana reform as the new NSW Labor leader Luke Foley said more action was needed.

Mr Foley said a more ambitious approach was needed than the government’s planned $9 million trial for medicinal cannabis that has the potential to treat children with severe epilepsy, terminally ill adults and those undergoing chemotherapy.

Under new guidelines, police will have the discretion not to charge terminally-ill cannabis users and carers who assist them for breaking drug laws.

Speaking in Sydney on Sunday, Mr Foley said changes to drug laws were needed.

‘The law should disappear from the statute books,’ Mr Foley told reporters in Strathfield.

‘I’d like to see us cross party lines here and change the law so that the terminally ill and their loved ones need never fear prosecution.

‘I want to … give people experiencing terrible pain and suffering some hope.’

Mr Foley said he wanted the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act changed ‘as a matter of urgency’ in the first sitting week of parliament after the March state election.

He said if a state trial on medicinal cannabis were to take place, ‘it should be far quicker than what’s envisaged in NSW’.

‘I think we can go forward without a trial, personally,’ Mr Foley added.

He said he had not yet talked to NSW Premier Mike Baird about the issue.

Overseas trials, especially in Israel, showed that for some terminally ill people ‘cannabinoid treatments are the only effective measure of pain relief’, Mr Foley said.

He pointed to a pharmaceutical product used to treat multiple sclerosis, saying it could possibly be used in NSW as part of a medicinal cannabis program.

‘There has to be more work done on the supply side,’ Mr Foley added.

The trial, announced by the Baird government in December, will first have to overcome logistical hurdles in importing medical cannabis from Europe or the US.

If permission is denied, the government has indicated it could grow its own cannabis crop.

Mr Baird has previously stressed that the drug remains illegal.

3 responses to “‘Ambitious’ cannabis trial needed: Foley”

  1. Steven Frank says:

    LOL, importing weed into Nimbin. Coals to Newcastle next? Medical and light recreational use..why not.
    Full time occupation like many in the Nimbin area..well, anyone whose been smoking daily for 30-40 years is going to be a few hundred grams short of kilo, not matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise. Put them in the forefront of a reform movement and it’s sure to fail.

  2. Michael Jones says:

    Why is it only the terminally ill can obtain cannabis?

    One of the most destructive drugs in our history (opium) is available over the counter in any chemist.

    So what I take from this is that the government thinks that opium is fine for people to consume in vast amounts, so long as it is mixed with 500mg of Panadol, but a well know harmless plant can only be offered to the dying or severely ill.

    I mean the guy is talking about treating children with Cannabis, but god forbid anyone use this drug recreationally.

    What a shame we can not get our head around the fact cannabis is the least harmful drug, less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, and a great deal less addictive than the former as well as opiates.

    If so many states are legalizing the recreational use of cannabis and so many countries are doing the same, can we not learn from their example.

    Let us do the math here,

    There is 23.13million people in Australia, 33% of people claim to have smoked once, let us say that half of that number smoke regularly.

    That equates to 3,816,450 current tokers, lets say that each week they buy 7grams of cannabis a week priced at $90, that would be an income of $343,480,500 each week.

    Now lets work this out taxed at 10% = $34,348,050 per week, so over an entire year this income would be in excess of $1,786,098,600

    Most of this can be used for health care, drug education and education.

    If we legalized cannabis and abolished negative gearing there would be NO budget crisis, NO cuts to healthcare, education and welfare AND we would be a lot happier.

    Did you know that crime in Colorado (all crimes) dropped when cannabis was legalized.

    So what is our excuse?

  3. Dr.Wom Bhatt says:

    Wait a minute. When a bill is passed It becomes an “Act”. That means it is Law. How is it that Politrickans can issue guidelines to people like Police “agents”, whose job it is to enforce the “Law”, to allow them to turn a “blind eye” to people who break that ‘Law” ? Get rid of the stupid “laws” regarding this herb and legalise it. Let’s turn our attention to far more destructive substances like Alcohol and Methamphetamines.

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