Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Cannabis debate holds up new laws
HillsValley Weekly, pg 10
HARSHER penalties for drug drivers are being delayed as the major parties argue over whether people should be allowed to drive while using medicinal cannabis.
State Government legislation which would impose longer licence disqualifications and higher fines on drug drivers cannot take effect until the dispute is resolved.
Labor and the Liberals are also at loggerheads over whether to allow police greater powers to search the vehicles of people who test positive to drug use behind the wheel.
Dignity Party MP Kelly Vincent added a clause to the Bill, supported by the Liberals, that would allow users of medicinal cannabis to seek the approval of a doctor to defend any drug-driving charges if they were tested by police and brought before a court.
Road Safety Minister Chris Picton said that would “create an unacceptably wide loophole whereby a driver could point to their use of medical cannabis as a defence to any drug driving offence”.