Canberra Times Op Ed: Australian cannabis laws are dishonest and need to change

We couldn’t agree more…

We have seen important breakthroughs in recent years in access to medicinal cannabis for people who can benefit from the range of products now available. However, the refusal of our elected representatives and law enforcement officials to rectify an obvious problem with the current system results in thousands of patients having to decide between being able to drive – and for some that means earning a living – or taking their prescribed medication, because the laws as they stand do not allow you to do both.

Despite there being a distinct lack of evidence of a correlation between a positive drug test and impairment, drivers, including those taking prescribed medicinal cannabis, can be punished with an immediate loss of licence and exorbitant fines if they test positive. Police know their testing can pick up presence well beyond the current research of at most a seven-hour impairment window after cannabis use. Yet many government campaigns ignore the facts and instead perpetuate propaganda.

To add insult to injury, medicinal cannabis remains the only prescription to which such a law applies.

It is also well-known that the whole roadside drug testing program has no concrete road safety basis, as unlike alcohol there are no defined impairment levels in play. Instead, the program serves as a tool for the continuation of a war-on-drugs mentality that allows wide-scale testing and punishment of citizens if any past drug use is detected.

Even in the ACT, where cannabis use and possession laws have been amended, the driving laws still seek to punish for any detectable presence, not impairment.

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