On Tuesday (October 12th), Dr Brian Walker from Legalise Cannabis Western Australia (LCWA) announced that he intends to establish a new committee for cannabis in WA.
It will investigate how WA’s current legislation and regulations impact cannabis and hemp within the state, including:
- The benefits and risks of allowing people to consume hemp
- The current barriers that make it difficult for people to access cannabinoid products
- The affordability, availability and prescription of medical cannabis
That last point is especially important, according to comments Dr Walker made to the ABC.
People travel a long way to find a doctor willing to actually stick his neck out and risk prescribing what has been a forbidden medication.
I’m sure that’s a familiar problem to many people. According to the National Pain Survey 2021, 38.8% of chronic pain sufferers have asked a doctor about accessing medical cannabis. However, many of these people received a negative or hesitant response driven by misinformation, a lack of education and prohibition-driven panic. And while approvals for medical cannabis are soaring in 2021, many patients still feel the sting of isolation, guilt and shame of taking a substance that’s stigmatised but extremely safe.
While the committee itself can’t fix this problem, it’s a step in the right direction.
At this stage, the Cannabis and Hemp Select Committee is set to include Dr Walker and four other members: Matthew Swinbourn, Lorna Harper, Jackie Jarvis and James Hayward. The committee members will investigate the hemp and cannabis industry, and in 12 months, they will produce a report on their findings.
If you’d like to keep up with the committee, you can find its listing on the WA parliament’s website.