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8th March 2023
Australia: The government and opposition parties in the state of Victoria are supporting a bill introduced by the Legalise Cannabis party to allow patients prescribed with cannabis to drive, press reports. During discussion of the bill in the state Parliament today, most parties, including the government, backed the initiative. If the bill is eventually passed, patients who use cannabis as a treatment will not be penalised for testing positive in drug tests conducted on the roads.
15th February 2023
Australia: The Legalise Cannabis party has introduced a proposal to allow patients prescribed with cannabis to drive, press reports. They say those who regularly use cannabis as a treatment should not be penalised for testing positive in drug tests conducted on the roads. There have been calls in South Australia to exclude medical cannabis users from new drug-driving rules, while the campaign Drive Change is making the same case in a number of states.
19th January 2023
Australia: The Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) has simplified the process of funding medical cannabis for armed forces veterans. It will now allow general practitioners to approve the funding of medical cannabis without the need of a specialist’s assessment. It has also implemented a “tier-based approval approach” that takes into consideration the active ingredients, dose parameters and regulatory factors.
14th December 2022
Australia: The number of representatives in the Victoria state upper house who support the legalisation of recreational cannabis has increased following election results confirmed today, press reports. At least eight of the 11 crossbench members of the Legislative Council, including four from the Green party and two from Legalise Cannabis Victoria, are in favour of legalisation. The election has left the ruling Labor Party needing the support of at least six crossbenchers to pass any legislation.
4th November 2022
11th October 2022
Australia: The Victorian Greens party has announced a plan to legalise and regulate the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis in the state of Victoria from 2024, with a 30% tax on cannabis sales – which the Parliamentary Budget Office estimates could raise over AUD1.21bn. The Victorian Greens, who currently have three seats in the 88-seat Legislative Assembly (Victoria’s lower chamber), believe legalisation would help fight the black market.
28th September 2022
Australia: The Greens party intends to introduce a bill to legalise recreational cannabis, press reports. The party is currently drafting the bill, which it expects to introduce before the end of the year. Though the Greens have just four seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives and 12 in the 76-seat Senate, the bill is expected to have the support of other parties.
11th August 2022
Australia: Members of Western Australia’s state parliament are planning to introduce a bill to allow possession of up to 50 g of cannabis and the growing of up to four plants at home, press reports. Brian Walker and Sophia Moermond of the Legalise Cannabis WA party are working on a draft that could be made public in the next three months. It would then be subject to public consultation and possible revision. They expect the revised version of the bill to be introduced in the upper house, the Legislative Council, in the second half of 2023. Walker expects public support for the bill, but said it may face a difficult passage since the state government has already said it has no plans to legalise cannabis.
21st June 2022
Australia: The pressure group Legalise Cannabis WA is urging state regulation to allow possession of up to 50 g of dried cannabis and the growing of up to four plants per household for recreational use, press reports. However, Western Australia’s premier Mark McGowan responded: “Having freely available cannabis is not our policy.” He said the Labor Party would use its control of both state houses to block a bill if it is put forward.
16th June 2022
Australia: The New South Wales Legislative Council is conducting an inquiry into a bill introduced by the Greens to allow medical cannabis patients to drive, press reports. Council member Cate Faehrmann, who introduced the bill, tweeted: “Our driving laws need to change. Medicinal cannabis is legal but patients are still charged for driving with the mere presence of THC in their system even if they are not impaired.” The state government’s position is unlikely to change, however, as they claim that “there is evidence that medicinal THC users can be impaired for a period of time”. The results of the inquiry will be presented to the Legislative Council in early August.
27th May 2022
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