20.7 C
Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Greens push medicinal cannabis reform at every level

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Search for a home

Jules Claydon, Ocean Shores I helped a friend move to a new rental property last week, relieved that a stressful...

Belongi Spit

John Lazarus, Byron Bay An update on proposed development of the Belongil Spit site, for the information particularly of those...

More money for Byron Shire roads and bridges

The NSW government has announced almost $5 million dollars in funding for Byron Shire infrastructure.

Water strategy

Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads The people of Mullumbimby would be aware that Byron Shire Council (BSC) intends to hand over...

Byron Council to introduce car-free Sundays in the centre of town

Byron Council has taken a further step toward getting cars out of, and pedestrians into, the centre of Byron, by voting to introduce car-free Sundays.

Honouring midwives on their International day

Many of us have a midwife to thank for our safe arrival from the womb, these specialised 'catching' hands are a blessing to both mum and bub in hospitals and in the home.

During the recent election campaign, Australian Greens health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natale joined his Greens NSW counterpart MP John Kaye in Sydney with Greens candidate for Newtown Jenny Leong to outline their approach to medicinal cannabis reform.

They say that to deny effective medication to patients who need it and would benefit from it simply because of stigma is cruel.

The Greens already have bills before the NSW and Commonwealth parliaments that would make this medicine available and provide relief from pain and suffering.

At the federal level, Dr Di Natale, a former GP and public health specialist, has led a cross-party working group to draft legislation that creates an independent regulator responsible for licensing the growing, manufacturing and distribution of medicinal cannabis.

This model would allow access to medicine that provides relief from severe pain and suffering, including patients suffering from intractable nausea and muscle spasms.

The bill is currently the subject of a Senate inquiry with submissions closing today and public hearings to follow next month.

The overwhelming majority of the community wants to see action on this issue and the Greens are leading the way at a state and federal level.

The time for meaningful reform is now

Dr Kaye said Senator Di Natale’s federal legislation clears a pathway around the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

If passed his bill would allow NSW to escape any risk of constitutional challenge to medicinal cannabis supply by state entities.

In NSW the Greens are determined to provide legal certainty to patients and their carers by proposing the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis use.

The premier Mike Baird might think that his clinical trials are the end of the story, but for the Greens this is just the beginning.

Of course we should continue to trial the efficacy of medicinal cannabis for conditions where there is emerging anecdotal evidence but a trial shouldn’t be allowed to delay access for conditions where there is already sufficient evidence.

There is already overwhelming international evidence that medicinal cannabis can provide relief from conditions like nausea, pain and muscle spasms.

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have been needlessly denied access to this kind of medical relief for far too long.

The Greens don’t want to wait another five years for legislative reform.

Medicinal cannabis reform is a priority for the Greens in NSW and federally.

We will be pushing our bill to a vote when the Legislative Council sits again following the election.

Jenny Leong, Greens candidate for Newtown, said she strongly supporta the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and that the Greens in the NSW parliament have led the way in legislative reform in this area.

The Greens member for Balmain Jamie Parker joined John Kaye to launch the Greens campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis alongside doctors and experts at Parliament House in 2014.

The Greens’ bill currently before the NSW parliament goes much further than the Liberals and Nationals or the Labor Party have been prepared to do.

We have a plan that deals with supply as well as providing patients with exemption from prosecution.

Labor leader Luke Foley says he supports legislative reform to provide for the use of medicinal cannabis but has not stated clearly what model his party would vote for.

Ms Leong said she would commit to introducing the same legislation into the lower house that Dr Kaye has introduced in the upper house and that ‘all parties should support this compassionate and sensible response to an important issue’.

 John Kaye, Richard Di Natale and Jenny Leong for the Greens

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. It’s amazing how far behind we are on medicinal cannabis. Many places have been using it for so long, all the trials and tests have been done!

    And it is working and has amazing results for thousands and thousands of people, yet we drag behind and are still debating it and having polls etc.

    How lame. People are dying and in pain and they are not allowed to use something from nature that works really well? What absolute insanity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.