FILE

Amnesty sought for medical marijuana users

LNP defector Steve Dickson has told parliament he seeks an urgent amnesty to protect people buying marijuana on the black market to treat medical ailments.

Presenting his first bill as One Nation state parliamentary leader, he used the return of Queensland Parliament to officially launch his campaign to get "the wheels" turning faster.

The Public Health Medical Cannabis Act 2016 passed last year, allowing access to the drug from March 1 but Mr Dickson said people required access immediately and no legal drugs were yet available for them.

"The problem is that no legal local production will be available by this date," he said.

"These people have been relying on illegal black market options and there is no relief in sight.

"I call on the Queensland Government to ensure affordable whole-plant medical cannabis is made available in Queensland to patients now."

But Mr Dickson spoke most extensively about an amnesty scheme for users while the local industry "further matures" under the Commonwealth licensing scheme.

He said some jurisdictions had amnesty approaches or compassionate use schemes that gave police the discretion not to prosecute someone in possession of marijuana if they were using it for medical reasons.

But he pointed to the government's own websites saying it did not support such a scheme.

"It is time the Queensland Government addresses this need. Why can't Queensland patients benefit from compassionate use while the government works with growers and producers?" he said.

Mr Dickson said One Nation had also called on the Prime Minister to intervene so families could use "vital life-changing drugs" without being forced to do so "in secret".

"It's the right thing to do for all Queenslanders outside the media spotlight who are afraid of the knock on the door in the middle of the night," he said.

"They should not have to live in fear of the police, they should have to live in fear of being charged or getting a criminal record, they should not have to live in fear that one medication helping their loved ones is no longer available because of a police raid."

The bill was sent to the health committee for consideration.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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