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This Medicinal Cannabis Awareness week marks the seventh anniversary of cannabis becoming a legal medication – a reform that brought relief to many suffering Victorians.
 
Seven years on and patients still endure systemic discrimination. For too long patients have been denied access to their medication and the ability to drive. Now they fear persecution on public transport. We know there is strong public support for a medicinal cannabis framework that puts patients first. The Allan Government needs to explain why it continues to treat medicinal cannabis patients like criminals.
 
This government have been accelerating drug detection operations at public transport stations, triggering fear for medicinal cannabis patients. Victoria Police receive no training on how to properly deal with medicinal cannabis patients, let alone how to sensitively deal with patients identified by sniffer dogs.
 
One year on from former Premier Andrews’ commitment to reforming Victoria’s driving laws as “a priority”, the Government is yet to communicate any progress on their medicinal cannabis driving trial. Last week Swinburne University released a study finding there to be negligible impact in simulated driving testing where patients took their medicinal cannabis as prescribed.
 
The science is in, seven years have passed – this government is out of excuses.
 
Legalise Cannabis Victoria remains wholly committed to cannabis law reform. We will keep pushing for medicinal cannabis patients’ rights to fair treatment, access to medications and independence.
 
Victoria has an opportunity to do this right and be a leading force in cannabis legislation – we call on the Allan Government to get with the program.

Ms Payne and Mr Ettershank are available for comment.
 
Media enquires: Adelle Mills 0407 352 889 | adelle.mills@parliament.vic.gov.au

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