30th November 2023 10:12
Victorian Legislative Council, Melbourne

Rachel PAYNE (South-Eastern Metropolitan) (10:12): 

I and many of my colleagues in this chamber I am sure are reflecting on our first year in Parliament. To say it has been a steep learning curve would be an understatement. But I do appreciate that we have all come a long way since our first day here at MP school and that particularly favourable drama exercise where we were all barefoot and lions,

and I am thinking about you, Mr Galea. This job is like no other. You get to work with a variety of different people who have varying points of view, backgrounds, experiences and motivations. What we all have in common is our desire to represent our community and to make a difference.

I am here to represent Legalise Cannabis, and in that capacity I and my colleague David Ettershank have talked about cannabis in this Parliament

every single sitting week. We have put the discrimination of medicinal cannabis patients when it comes to driving laws on the agenda. We initiated the inquiry into industrial hemp, with the report delivering practical recommendations that will advance this industry and reduce stigma. Workplace drug testing was next on the agenda, and we will see that review inquiry commence early next year.

Finally, we debated a bill to regulate the personal use of cannabis yesterday, and we will continue to advocate and push for reform so people who consume cannabis are no longer criminalised. Thank you to everyone who shared their cannabis story leading up to the debate. We hear you, we are here with you and we will continue to push for change.

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