Newly elected NSW Labor leader Luke Foley will campaign for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis for terminally ill patients in the lead-up to the March state election.
In September, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced the state government would hold clinical trials on the use of medical cannabis for children with epilepsy, chemotherapy patients and adults with terminal illness. The trials began three weeks ago.
The state Opposition leader, who was elected Monday following the swift resignation of John Robertson late last year, said patients should not have to wait for the results of a $9 million trial to achieve proven pain relief, the ABC reported.
“We don’t need to bother with trials,” Foley said.
“There’s been plenty of trials overseas. I think of Israel in particular.
“We know that, for a certain number of people with terminal illness, that cannabinoid treatments are the only effective measure of pain relief.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott threw his support behind the use of medical marijuana and said that “something that has been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn’t need to be tested again here”.
Baird has advised NSW police to use discretion when considering charging terminally ill patients in possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis.
“What the Premier is saying is he’ll ask the police not to enforce the law,” Foley said.
“Well, if the law is not worth enforcing, it should disappear from the statute books.”
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