A well-known cannabis clinic in Seventeen Mile Rocks supports the ongoing review of Queensland’s driving laws, which would update the existing regulations to keep pace with the growing number of medical cannabis users in the State.
A study led by the University of Sydney revealed that State accounts for more than half the medical cannabis prescriptions dispensed ever since it became legal in 2016. The study also showed that the top three treatment reasons for these prescriptions are pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Cann I Help is a medical cannabis treatment clinic with several locations across Australia that treats around 5,000 medical cannabis patients each week. The clinic revealed that there are people who are not taking their medication, which could pose major problems, and there are those who risk losing their license just so they can drive to work.
At Cann I Help, they provide medical cannabis treatment for a number of conditions, such as Epilepsy, chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety and depression, sleep disorders, and Parkinson’s.
The clinic’s calls for amendments comes in light of the announcement of Transport Minister Mark Bailey in August 2022 that Queensland will review its drug-driving laws.
Under the current laws in Queensland, it’s an offence to drive with THC in one’s system, even if it’s prescribed by a doctor.
In Australia, Tasmania is the only state which allows an unimpaired driver prescribed medicinal cannabis to lawfully drive.
In support of the review, the Greens moved their amendments to the State Government’s Road Safety and Other Matters Bill. The amendments are as follows:
- Insert a defence provision in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 to say that the offence for driving with the presence of a “relevant drug” (defined as MDMA, Ice or THC) in one’s system does not apply if the only drug detected is THC from a cannabis product legally obtained and administered for medicinal purposes.
- Retain provisions making it an offence for a person to drive while under the influence of a drug (including THC from medicinal cannabis) or alcohol.
“We’ve had a medicinal cannabis framework since 2016 and Queensland has more than half of all Australian medicinal cannabis prescriptions, but our laws still haven’t been updated,” said Greens MP for Maiwar Micahel Berkman.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transport of Main Roads’ review of the existing drug-driving laws is due to be complete by the end of 2024.