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In light of this, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that the debate over Pettersson’s cannabis legalisation bill is unlikely to conclude for several months, potentially “not even by mid year at this point”.
“The new standing orders of the Assembly require all amendments to go through a scrutiny process so if there’s any contention around a piece of legislation in the Assembly it will take three sitting periods effectively for it to be resolved, so we intend to have a measured and detailed debate both on the principle of the legislation and any subsequent amendments,” Barr said.
The Greens are also currently pushing another piece of legislation, the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Bill, which it hopes will increase patient access to medicinal marijuana.
The leader of the ACT Greens, Shane Ratternbury, said that the party is proposing the bill “to assist people suffering serious illnesses to have easier access to cannabis for medicinal use as we know that the ACT’s medicinal cannabis scheme remains hard to access.”
“Here in the Territory, in 2004 and again in 2014, the two major parties blocked the Greens’ bills to legalise cannabis for medicinal use. Unfortunately, now that a scheme does exist, it is not working for those who need it.”