Liberals fail cannabis test

The Liberal Government has put the “closed for business” sign up after just 112 days of being in Government.

Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings said the decision by the Government to not support cannabis trials is a big slap in the face for cancer patients, farmers, potential manufacturing investors and Tasmanians looking for work.

“The State Government is adopting a closed minded attitude on an issue with strong community support,” Ms Giddings said.

“To not even entertain the idea of a trial is extremely short sighted from the Health Minister and his colleagues.

“Common sense suggests cannabis products should be available for strictly medicinal use, just like opiates.

“The Liberals are closing the door on what could potentially be a flourishing industry.

“Not to mention the human side of the debate, with Tasmanians requiring cannabis based products to alleviate suffering.

“It’s not too late for the Liberals to show some common sense when it comes to cannabis but based on what we’ve seen and hear so far, Labor holds out little hope.”

Ms Giddings said after days of sending out a different message every few hours when it comes to the issue of cannabis for medicinal use, it seems the right-wing forces within the Liberal Party have won the day and stopped a trial.

“The Liberals have been all over the place on this issue,” Ms Giddings said.

“First Matthew Groom poured cold water on the idea, then Michael Ferguson and Jeremy Rockliff appeared to be open to it, but now it’s being stomped on.

“Questions need to be asked.

“Why when we can grow opiates is security an issue for growing medicinal cannabis?

“Why are cancer patients being denied a drug that can help relieve their symptoms?

“Why is the Government knocking back a new crop that could benefit from the investment in irrigation that is opening up more land for agriculture?

“Why is the Government not trying to attract investment in pharmaceutical manufacturing of downstream processing of hemp oil?

“Why is the government knocking back potential jobs?

“Who is pulling the strings within the Liberal Party when it comes to the Liberals’ anti-cannabis for medicinal purposes stance?

“I am told that the cannabis that would be grown for medicinal purposes has a low level of the psychoactive ingredient THC and therefore unattractive to potential recreational drug users, therefore exactly what are the Liberals afraid of?”