A Labor Government will protect people with a terminal illness using cannabis for pain relief and their carers from criminal sanctions – to provide those who are suffering in our community the dignity they deserve.
A Labor Government will amend the current law to provide a complete defence from arrest and prosecution for the terminally ill using cannabis for medical purposes.
Many people are already using cannabis for medicinal purposes and in doing so are running the risk of arrest and criminal prosecution. But these people, and their carers, should not suffer the further humiliation of being dragged through our courts and treated as criminals.
Not all pharmaceutical pain relief works for those with terminal illnesses – and often, side effects can destroy what little quality of life remains. Medicinal cannabis can provide much needed relief, particularly for those undergoing chemotherapy.
Under Labor’s policy, a patient would need to be certified by their treating specialist medical practitioner as having been diagnosed with a specific incurable condition. This certificate would make the person and their carer eligible for inclusion on a register of ‘authorised patients and carers’ – to be administered by the NSW Ministry of Health.
These compassionate changes would provide a small group of people with the protections they need, and would be targeted so as not to lead to any increased use or presence of illegal drugs.
Political leaders have a responsibility to act for those who are most vulnerable in our society.
Now is the time for us to work together to make these historic changes, to reduce avoidable suffering for those with a terminal illness and remove the risk of criminal prosecution from them and their loved ones.