Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Police. Recent media hysteria and inflated figures have led to the illusion that thousands of Victorians are driving under the influence of drugs every day. Current testing regimes ignore the fact that the much larger problem is actually people misusing and driving under strong prescription pharmaceuticals rather than illegal ones. At present there is no limit set on the maximum tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) blood-level content for driving like the maximum we have set for alcohol. This is a serious problem and I believe one for which we need an across-the-board inquiry on roadside testing. My question is: is the government working with appropriate academics, health professionals and Victoria Police to set a THC blood-level limit so that members of the public are not being arrested for driving offences as a result of tests that have no set limit and are therefore not testing for impairment?
I thank the minister; I look forward to that. I agree with the minister: we are concerned about it. But given that there has been no assessment whatsoever of the success or otherwise of roadside drug testing, will the government acknowledge that cannabis as a recreational drug is widely used and move to take it off the currently listed drugs it tests for until a THC blood-level limit can be established — a move that will also have significance when medical cannabis becomes a reality in Victoria?