Nine News Reports
Queensland’s drug driving laws could be set for a major shake-up, with a review set to examine a potential exemption for medicinal cannabis users.
Under current laws, nobody with any level of cannabis in their system is allowed to drive.
The review, which is expected to run until the end of the year, will examine whether this should change in the cases of people who have been a prescription for the substance.
It comes after a sharp increase in the number of medical cannabis users being caught behind the wheel with the drug in their system.
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan told Today he didn’t agree with the proposed exemption.
“Just because it’s medicinally okay to take cannabis, that’s fine, whatever rocks your boat, (but) you can’t transfer those rights on to the road,” he said.
“Don’t, and take public transport.”
Transport and Main Roads general manager land transport safety and regulation Andrew Mahon said the issue of medicinal cannabis and driving was a “complex and difficult one to solve”.
“The government is acutely aware of the challenges faced by those wanting to use medicinal cannabis and continue driving,” he said.
“Some medicinal cannabis products contain THC, the active ingredient in cannabis which can be detected as a relevant drug within Queensland’s drug driving laws.
“At this point of time the approach taken in Queensland for medicinal cannabis is taken due to THC being a psychoactive substance that has shown to impair cognitive and motor function, increasing the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.”
He said TMR had begun reviewing the state’s approach to tackling drug driving.
“As part of this review, we will be examining best practice approaches across the world, contemporary research evidence and undertaking widescale stakeholder consultation with experts and those impacted by drug driving,” he said.
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