LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has today welcomed key moves in the campaign to make medicinal cannabis more available for people suffering chronic and terminal conditions.
In Townsville, at the weekend’s LNP State Council meeting, two motions on medicinal cannabis were passed with very strong support from party membership.
“The first encouraged the State Government to offer to run a medical trial in Queensland, and the second expressed support for the work of the Commonwealth government’s multi-party group,” Mr Entsch said.
“The fact that these motions were passed almost unanimously just shows how much desire for action there is in the community, along with an acceptance that this is not a political issue; it’s about compassion, respecting human dignity, and providing more regulation over an element of the illegal cannabis market that is currently uncontrolled.
“If the motions are adopted by the Queensland Government then it brings us into line with the New South Wales, Victorian and West Australian Governments. It also endorses the stance by the Prime Minister that he supports the legalisation of medicinal cannabis, which I have spoken to him personally about.”
Mr Entsch attended a briefing in Canberra this morning with the Commonwealth Parliament Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, which has produced the Regulator of Medical Cannabis Bill 2014.
The Bill establishes a regulatory and licensing framework for the production, distribution and administering of medicinal cannabis and would enable consortiums or commercial entities to tender for contracts to grow and process medicinal cannabis under strict guidelines.
“Senator Richard di Natale will introduce the Bill into the Senate tomorrow,” Mr Entsch said. “My congratulations to him he’s done an incredible amount of work on this issue and as a medical doctor has a special interest and understanding of the complexities.
“The Group is starting the process to introduce the Bill into the House of Representatives soon after and endeavouring to get it sponsored with signatures from right across the political spectrum.
“The idea is to get a broad alliance of individuals supporting the Bill – that’s how you get a successful process and outcome. I’m hoping it can be introduced to the House during our last sitting week next week and then it can be debated early in the New Year.”