14th November 2023 12:28
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne
Rachel PAYNE (South-Eastern Metropolitan) (12:28): (346)
My question is for the Attorney-General. Earlier this year, Attorney, I asked you whether you would consider adopting a scheme similar to the New South Wales medicinal cannabis compassionate use scheme, which is managed by their justice department. The scheme empowers police to utilise their discretion to not charge adults and their carers with the possession of cannabis, even when not prescribed, if they are registered under the scheme. To answer the questions that you raised in your response earlier this year, as of 1 October 2023, 27 terminally ill people and 44 carers were registered with the scheme in New South Wales, and from 1 July to 30 September 2023 police exercised their discretion under the scheme on 10 occasions. This scheme helps our most vulnerable avoid criminalisation and frees them of the significant costs of medicinal cannabis prescriptions. So my question is: with this fresh information, will the Attorney-General consider implementing a similar scheme in Victoria?
Jaclyn SYMES (Northern Victoria – Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Services) (12:29):
Thank you, Ms Payne, for your question, for your research and for your interest in this important topic. I think I did also indicate at the time that it is probably a matter for the Minister for Police. I did pass your question on to my department and said we should be thinking about this – that I would like some advice, probably similar to the advice that you just provided to me – and through your question today you have ensured that it remains on the agenda for consideration.