Liberals’ lukewarm response to medical cannabis trial

Shadow Attorney-General Lara Giddings today urged the Tasmanian Government to pursue any opportunities to take part in a clinical trial of medical cannabis.


“The Liberals response so far has been lukewarm at best while other States have taken the lead in recognising the benefits of medical cannabis and pushing for the trial to occur in their backyard,” Ms Giddings said.


“Moves by New South Wales and Victoria for a clinical trial next year is a huge step forward and great news for all those who have fought so hard in Tasmania and across Australia to be able to use medical cannabis legally.


“As we have seen from Tasmanians like Nicole Cowles, Natalie Daley and Lyn Cleaver who have bravely told their stories, it is a medication that has turned patients’ lives around.


“While other States and Territories yesterday were lauding a clinical trial, Health Minister Michael Ferguson merely said he was happy to share information and Premier Will Hodgman said nothing.


“Tasmania needs stronger leadership than that from the Premier and his Health Minister if we are to gain any of the medical and potential economic benefits of the trial.


“It is vital for Mr Ferguson to ensure the trial includes Tasmanian farmers who can safely grow cannabis and that its use covers a wide range of medical conditions including children with epilepsy.


“Now is the time for Michael Ferguson to forget about his own political prejudices and for the Liberal Government to stop paying lip service to the many Tasmanians crying out for leadership on this issue.”