Marijuana scheme for terminally ill fails to attract patients

By April 20, 2015 Recent News

Sydney Morning Herald 21 April 2015
Six months since the state government created a scheme exempting the terminally ill from laws against possessing marijuana, only a few dozen people have signed up, leading to charges it is dragging its feet on reform.

In December, the state government changed regulations to explicitly give police the power to decline to prosecute terminally ill patients who had signed up to a government register. Patients and their carers can carry up to 15 grams of marijuana.

But since regulations were changed, police have never invoked the provision to not prosecute. And only about 40 people joined the register.

Greens MP John Kaye said the figure was “minuscule compared to the number of people in the community who are currently using the drug illegally to relieve pain and suffering”.

Dr Kaye said the government had deliberately not publicised the scheme. “Mike Baird is happy to reap the political rewards for moving on medicinal cannabis without delivering.”