South Australia has become the latest state to explore cannabis driving law reform with Greens upper house MP Tammy Franks taking up the crusade in collaboration with lobby group Drive Change.
Franks introduced a bill in parliament yesterday that will seek to lift the legal threat that hangs over patients holding medicinal cannabis prescriptions.
The bill is similar to the one drawn up by Reason Party leader Fiona Patten in Victoria.
Franks said she has been in touch with Patten with the two politicians “actively collaborating to share insights from each jurisdiction as part of this important proposed law reform”.
Under current Australia-wide laws, drivers with any amount of THC in their system – however small – can be prosecuted even if there is no evidence to suggest their driving is impaired.
The industry has long called for an overhaul of the law which is widely felt to discriminate against medicinal cannabis users and often deters patients from taking the medicine they need.
Many face the distressing choice of either taking medicinal cannabis and risking prosecution – and possibly losing their job – or avoiding the drug altogether.
Ahead of tabling the bill, Franks held a roundtable discussion with parliamentary colleagues to raise awareness of the Drive Change campaign, which is fronted by former magistrate David Heilpern.