Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (21:24): (1582) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety and relates to medicinal cannabis and driving. The medicinal cannabis driving task force presented a report, and from that I would hope that Victoria is edging slowly, slowly closer towards reform in this area. That reform will reduce the stigma of being a medicinal cannabis patient, and it will stop driving chronic pain sufferers and other patients back towards other dangerous and addictive medications.
And I do not know about other members in this chamber, but I am regularly contacted by people who have been stopped and are now facing licence loss, job loss and business loss for taking a prescription medication that they were prescribed. We are the only country that does this. Study after study has demonstrated that it will not affect our road safety, quite unlike forcing many of these people back onto opioids and benzodiazepines.
Recently I was contacted by a patient who had taken his prescription medication almost 24 hours before he was stopped by the police. They tested him with a breathalyser test; he tested negative. He tested positive for traces of THC. He is a motor mechanic. He is the sole provider for his family, he is the only licence-holder in his family, he has a special needs son and he stands to lose his licence and his job for taking the medicine that a doctor prescribed to him. He suffers from PTSD, depression and insomnia. This got him back to work—this medicine—but because he had minute residual levels of THC he is facing the loss of his job, the loss of his licence. He was not under the influence of this medication.
This cannot be in the public interest, so the action that I am seeking tonight is that the minister provides me with road crash statistics from the last five years where the at-fault driver was a person who had been prescribed medicinal cannabis.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan
Adjournment matter 13/10/21