Will Hodgman out of step with Prime Minister on medicinal cannabis

Premier Will Hodgman is even out of step with Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the use of medical cannabis.


“Mr Abbott has gone as far as to say if a drug is proven to be safe overseas and is needed here it should be available without the need to be tested again in Australia,” Shadow Attorney General Lara Giddings said.


“Will Hodgman is swimming against the tide of public and political opinion in relation to medicinal cannabis.


“If he needs any further convincing he need only talk to Tony Abbott.


“In Mr Abbott’s own words on the use of medicinal cannabis: ‘If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose and is being administered safely there should be no question about it legality’.


“Mr Hodgman shouldn’t wait until 2015 when the Legislative Council Reports on their inquiry into the issue, to take further action on this issue.


“The Premier could ask his Health Minister to start clinical trials now in Tasmania or better still advocate for the TGA to accept clinical trial evidence from overseas and legalise medical cannabis sooner rather than later.


“In a paper in the Medical Journal of Australia (December 2013), Dr Alex Wodak cited 82 favourable control trials and nine unfavourable control trials overseas which would help inform the TGA’s decision to legalise MC.


“The longer the Tasmanian Liberals stall on the use of medicinal cannabis the more out of touch they are looking,” Ms Giddings said.


Text of Letter from Tony Abbott to Alan Jones:


“Thanks Alan.  Let me look into this.  I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates.  I was under the impression that personal use of cannabis was no longer an offence in New South Wales, not that I would ever support the recreational use of these sorts of drugs.  If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose, though, and is being administered safely, there should be no question of its legality.  And if a drug that’s proven to be safe abroad is needed here, it should be available.  I agree that the regulation of medicines is a thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self-interest.  My basic contention is that something that’s been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn’t need to be tested here again.  And clinical trials that have been done elsewhere shouldn’t have to be repeated here.  I doubt the Haslams need a meeting, they need their problem addressed, so please let me see what’s possible.  Cheers, Tony”