Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (09:50): Medicinal cannabis is the only prescription medication that if taken by a patient excludes them from driving. It is not because it is more dangerous. In fact with many CBD medicines that is quite the opposite. It is because of stigma and misunderstanding—like the misunderstanding that the average medicinal cannabis patient in Victoria is a 52-year-old woman with a chronic illness for which conventional medicines have not worked.
Now, I am not suggesting we should allow people who are impaired to drive, I am saying that people who have been prescribed a legal prescription medication and can drive safely should be allowed to drive. This is how we treat every single other prescription medication. Too often Victorians who would benefit from medicinal cannabis are forced to choose a less effective or more dangerous and addictive medication, such as an opioid or a benzodiazepine, simply because driving with a residual amount of THC could mean the loss of a drivers licence or criminal penalties. We must find a path forward.
The path I propose is a discrete trial of maybe 100 Victorian medicinal cannabis patients. Let us measure the effects of this medicine on them and track their driving performance. Let us show it is safe.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Members statement 23/3/22