Fix Dan’s Law: shadow health minister hesitant to back calls for cannabis changes | The Northern Daily Leader

Healthy News
April 9, 2019

Fix Dan’s Law: shadow health minister hesitant to back calls for cannabis changes

NOT CONVINCED: Shadow health minister Catherine King (inset) couldn't give a firm commitment to #FixDansLaw. Photo: Gareth Gardner 200219GGE05

THE federal Labor party has stopped short of promising to establish an independent regulator of cannabis ahead of this year’s election.

Tamworth mother Lucy Haslam has launched a campaign to fix the laws governing medicinal cannabis in Australia created in her son’s honour. She has called for the drugs to be taken out from under  the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) command and a new independent regulator to be created to solely administer cannabis products.

Mrs Haslam said the shadow health minister Catherine King and opposition leader Bill Shorten were yet to announce a policy on the issue ahead of the election.

In a statement to The Leader, Ms King said the current system was proving difficult for patients to access the drugs.

“Labor is concerned that the government has been slow to implement the national scheme for medicinal cannabis, and will keep pressure on them to roll it out urgently,” Ms King said.

“We are particularly concerned that the government has done little to ensure a consistent supply of regulated and affordable product, or to drive consistency across states on the legal treatment of people currently accessing medicinal cannabis.”

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“Labor agrees that much more needs to be done to ensure safe and timely access to medicinal cannabis across Australia. We look forward to continuing to work with patients and clinicians to make this a reality.”

Mrs Haslam said she had met with Ms King recently where she emphasised the need to regulate cannabis outside of the Therapeutic Goods Act. She said it was a model replicated in most other countries with medicinal cannabis.

“While I cautiously welcome Catherine’s remarks I’m concerned at the apparent disconnect between her stance and that of her leader Bill Shorten who has said he wants bureaucrats and politicians to step aside on this matter,” she said.

“It is of course impossible to comment further until a more concrete policy is announced. In the meantime, I would be more than delighted to assist federal Labor in refining its final position.”

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