ALP adds support to passage of bill

NSW Opposition leader John Robertson has joined the tide of in-principle support for a Tamworth family’s crusade to decriminalise marijuana for the dying.

ON BOARD: NSW Labor leader John Robertson is 
lending his 
support to the push to 
decriminalise medical 
marijuana, a 
campaign being led by Tamworth’s own Haslam 
family. Photo: Fairfax

ON BOARD: NSW Labor leader John Robertson is lending his support to the push to decriminalise medical marijuana, a campaign being led by Tamworth’s own Haslam family. Photo: Fairfax

Just weeks out from the expected tabling of a bill on the issue by Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson, the ALP leader echoed the sentiments of Premier Mike Baird this week, saying he would “work 

constructively” to help the bill’s passage through parliament.

But like the Premier, he remained concerned about how the bill would deal with the issue of supply.

“I am sympathetic to the plight of Dan Haslam and others who are suffering from a terminal illness and advocating for medical use of cannabis for pain relief – but it needs to be acknowledged there remains practical and regulatory issues that need to be worked through in this area,” Mr Robertson said.

“We want to build on the in-principle support expressed by the parliamentary committee last year and continue to work in a cross-party fashion to move this issue forward.

“We obviously await the detail of any legislation and will work constructively to achieve the best outcome.”

Mr Anderson’s private member’s bill will be tabled in two parts: the first allowing terminally-ill patients to avoid prosecution if they are caught with 15 grams or less of the drug and the second dealing with the issue of supply.

“I think this is an issue that is above politics,” Mr Robertson said. 

“Ultimately, this is a medical issue and at every step along the way we need to be working with medical experts to ensure that we get this right.”

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