Imagine having to choose between taking your legally prescribed medication and going to work,doing the school run or getting the shopping that week. Yes, week.
This is the stark reality for many Australian medicinal cannabis patients because of the discriminatory drug-driving laws that still exist in most states. Current laws penalise the mere presence of THC, not the driver’s impairment. The situation is compounded by the fact that THC can be detected through roadside drug tests for days after use. Consequently, many Australian medicinal cannabis patients find themselves having to skip their medication for multiple days before driving or risk legal repercussions.
To be clear, we wholly support measures to keep our roads safe, but penalising presence rather than impairment is patently unfair. No other legal prescription medications are treated in this manner.
Kindness, patient support and removing barriers to access are core parts of our brand, so for us, it’s a very simple matter of principle. We need to support our patients and advocate for their rights and wellbeing.
The path to reparation requires a two-pronged approach. First, we must advocate for legal reform that redefines the standards for determining a medicinal cannabis patient’s fitness to drive. Second, legal assistance should be provided to those patients who have been wrongly charged.
If our industry is to thrive, we must ensure that our patients enjoy the same rights and treatment as they would with any other legally prescribed medication. This is precisely why initiatives like #DriveChange are so important. I hope to see more of our industry peers rallying behind these crucial causes. Change is the only way forward.
CEO, Altum and Kind Medical