SMH supports Greens policy on Medicinal Cannabis

The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax) in its Editorial today (SMH), said it has “welcome the continuation of a more mature discussion of drugs policy and we hope the debate on medicinal cannabis can be used as a window for a broader look at overall drugs policy in NSW”.

This follows the NSW Premier Mike Baird’s announcement late last year (ABC) that the Liberal Government, usually a ‘war-on-drugs’ champion, would conduct trials into medical cannabis and it’s use to treat pain in the terminally ill (for only certain illnesses), while the newly elected leader of NSW Labor, Luke Foley, enthusiastically supported of the idea (which subsequently has got him into some trouble) (SMH).

Absent from this editorial is the mention of the party which usually cops flak over cannabis, and drugs in general – the Greens.

I don’t know how many times I have been told that the Greens support the complete decriminalisation of the illicit drug industry.

This is simply not true.

The editorial fails to note that the Greens are in support of medical cannabis. The Greens drugs policy states:

Allow drugs to be regulated and prescribed for medicinal purposes based solely on their therapeutic and palliative effects.

While the Sydney Morning Herald did not mention the Greens or our policy, it appears we may be on the same page as the publication’s editor.

For the full NSW Greens drugs and harm-minimisation policy, and I do encourage you to read it, click here, but to summarise, in relation to ‘illicit drug use’, the NSW Greens only support the criminalisation or penalties for those who are:

  • Driving with impaired cognitive or psychomotor skills due to the consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Involved in the supply of any quantity of cannabis or other illegal drugs by an adult to a juvenile.
  • The unsanctioned production, importation and commercial-scale supply of drugs.

As the Sydney Morning Herald points out..

The NSW Bar Association late last year released a discussion paper on drug laws. The association suggested the so-called “war on drugs” had largely failed and there was increasing awareness throughout the world that new measures were needed. It recommended consideration of a harm-reduction approach, which might encompass the legalisation of now-illicit drugs and replacing the existing black market with some form of highly regulated system.While legalisation might be a bridge too far, like every other suggestion, it is worth calm consideration.

Unsurprisingly, harm-minimisation and support for drug users, of both the legal and illegal kind, is a key focus of Greens policy, and again, I urge you to read the policy on the Greens website for a greater understanding of the complexity of the issue.

But with that all said, so much for the ‘hippies’ running the Greens drug policy.

The policy is in fact a middle ground, evidence-based and common-sense policy, worthy of imitation.

No wonder why the Sydney Morning Herald, The Liberal and Labor parties are slowly coming around to it!