Pubdate: Fri, 30 May 2014
Source: Australian, The (Australia)
Copyright: 2014sThe Australian
Page: 2


A NSW government MP has broken ranks with his colleagues and will 
introduce legislation to legalise cannabis for terminally ill 
patients. Nationals lower house MP Kevin Anderson met Premier Mike 
Baird on Wednesday and told him he was going to introduce his bill 
despite the government's opposition to legalising medicinal cannabis. 
He shared with Mr Baird the story of 24-year-old Dan Haslam, who has 
terminal bowel cancer and has been forced to use cannabis illegally 
to treat his pain and nausea. "The Premier was sympathetic and 
listened intently while I explained the issue to him and the 
circumstances surrounding my decision to try and change the laws," Mr 
Anderson said in a statement.

However, he said he shared the Premier's "grave concerns" on the 
issue of the drug's supply, which would need to be "through a tightly 
controlled and regulated process". Mr Baird said his government would 
give "careful consideration" to Mr Anderson's bill. In 2013, a 
bipartisan parliamentary committee recommended AIDS and terminally 
ill patients be allowed to possess and use up to 15g of dry cannabis.

The committee recommended a register of authorised cannabis patients 
to protect medicinal users against prosecution. The O'Farrell 
government knocked back the proposal, saying the potency and safety 
of the products, which includes cannabis in plant, resin or liquid 
form, could not be guaranteed.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom