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The announcement ensured Australians who suffered from chronic
and painful illnesses would have access to the medication, with
medicinal cannabis likely to be available within weeks.
Before Hunt’s decision, patients were forced to go through a
lengthy and complicated process to gain approval to import
cannabis products. Navigating the government’s Special Access
Scheme was confusing and time consuming, according to patients
and activists interviewed by BuzzFeed News last week.
The NSW state government ramped up random drug testing in
December 2015 and plans to conduct about 100,000 tests this
of the test said the policy of testing for traces of THC
(the psychoactive component in cannabis) rather than general
impairment was unfair. A NSW Police spokesperson told BuzzFeed
News that the presence of cannabis – if driving – remained an
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, a
vocal opponent of MDTs, told BuzzFeed News the NSW Police
refused to engage on the topic of medicinal cannabis
“One of the key reasons police oppose medicinal cannabis was
they were concerned it would stuff around their roadside drug
testing regimes,” he said.
“The unscientific, blunt instrument that is roadside drug
testing was one of the reasons it took so long to get medicinal
cannabis up in the first place.”
Shoebridge said it was a “bizarre situation” when a person with
traces of prescribed medicinal cannabis would lose their
licence while a driver who was “coked up to their eyeballs”
would pass their test.
“Unfortunately, the first person prosecuted is going to create
a crisis,” he said.
BuzzFeed News has sought comment from health minister Greg