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Chronic illness sufferers push for reform of cannabis driving laws lagging behind the science

A leading pain management specialist says patients with chronic pain are refusing to use medicinal cannabis, even when it provides relief, because they want to continue driving without penalty. 

Professor Richard Chye is a palliative care and pain management specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. He was also an inaugural member of the Australian Advisory Council on medicinal cannabis.

He believes current driving laws in every state except Tasmania are unfair because they do not test for impairment, but rather the presence of the psychoactive compound THC in a driver’s system.

“I have some patients who say yes, cannabis has worked for them, but they will prefer to put up with the pain than give up driving,” Professor Chye said.

“I think the current laws are unfair because the laws allow patients to drive with opioids. They are allowed to drive with morphine, but not allowed to drive with THC.

“They’re allowed to drive with benzos [benzodiazepines], with Valium in their blood, but not allowed to drive with THC. So, yes, the law is unfair and the law needs to change.”

At Cymra Life Sciences cannabis is grown organically.(ABC Landline)

Inequity in cannabis driving laws

Legalise Cannabis Party MP Jeremy Buckingham introduced a bill into the New South Wales Parliament this month to provide exemptions to the driving laws for registered medical cannabis patients.

He said the current laws which carry fines and driving disqualifications for the detection of THC in a driver’s saliva, blood, or urine only created a perception of safety not based on the reality.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2023-08-26/chronic-illness-sufferers-push-for-cannabis-driving-reform/102756426 Chronic illness sufferers push for reform of cannabis driving laws lagging behind the science

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