Drug Driving Laws Are Up for Review in Parliament. Here’s How to Weigh in with Your Call for Change.

This post will give you the details you need to know about NSW Parliament’s latest inquiry into drug driving law reform and how you can lodge your submission. In doing so, you are expressing your unequivocal support of updated drug driving laws that include protection and defences for medicinal cannabis patients.

What is a submission?

What is this submission for?

What is the Road Transport Amendment Bill?

What if I don’t live in NSW?

How to lodge a submission to NSW Parliament

Lodging a submission can help restore freedom, support, and job security to the lives of thousands of medicinal cannabis patients in Australia.

What is a submission and why does it matter?

When the Government conducts an inquiry into an area of law–in this case, they’re revisiting the drug driving laws surrounding medicinal cannabis–the public has the opportunity to present a submission.

This submission is an opportunity to make your opinion known regarding the law in question. 

Lodging a submission can be a powerful tool for advocacy in changing these laws. Government officials will consider these documents as they reformulate their thoughts or views on an issue. 

Essentially, this submission is a tool to help you express your support of fair and equal drug driving laws. 

What is the purpose of the Drive Change submission?

Written by ex-magistrate and director of Drive Change, David Heilpern, this submission expresses support for the Road Transport Amendment Bill.

In a nutshell, the Drive Change submission says:

  • All road safety data shows that there is not risk of increased road trauma from medicinal cannabis.
  • The current laws are discriminate against prescription medicinal cannabis users.
  • There is evidence to suggest those using other prescription drugs as an alternative to medicinal cannabis rose a greater risk to road safety.
  • The Tasmanian model and other international examples exemplify that the Bill’s proposed amendments are tried, tested, and safe.

The submission includes sources to scientific research and international law that supports the need for updated drug driving laws. Due 1 May 2022, the community has the chance now to essentially cast a vote and state the reasons for wanting change. 

Read More: How Other Countries Successfully Updated Drug Driving Laws for Medicinal Cannabis Patients (and How Australia Can Catch Up)

What is the Road Transport Amendment Bill?

The Road Transport Amendment Bill would mean equal rights to medicinal cannabis patients who drive. That includes granting legal defence to patients who test positive in roadside tests for amounts of THC that are too low to cause impairment or are present in support of a prescription. The only state that currently grants this protection to medicinal cannabis patients in Tasmania.

Read more: The Road Transport Amendment Bill

Many medicinal cannabis patients are labourers who rely on their driver’s license to keep a job and support their families. The current laws discriminate against these patients and have the potential to upheave lives.

What if I don’t live in NSW?

You can still submit a submission if you do not live in NSW. 

Getting the laws updated in the country’s most populous state would create an ideal model that other states and territories can emulate. Your own submission could become a catalyst for change country-wide.

A win for NSW is a win for all of Australia.

How do I lodge my submission?

1. Access the pre-written submission by copying and pasting from below or downloading the pdf from this link. You can also craft your own. Feel free to use ours as a template or guideline for your own.

2. Once you have the submission saved or downloaded, follow this link to access the submissions page for the “Road Transport Amendment (Medicinal Cannabis-Exemptions from Offenses) Bill 2021” on the Parliament of NSW website. 

3. Log your submission:

  • Make sure the “Submissions” tab is selected. Then, click the button that says “to lodge a submission, click here.”
  • Select “submit as an individual,” and fill out your details.
  • Lodge your submission either by downloading the pre-prepared PDF or crafting your own submission. Feel free to use our document to help craft your own.
  • Finally, attach the downloaded file into the submissions page and submit.

All submissions for the Road Transport Amendment Bill are due 1 May 2022. Lodge yours now.

That’s it! Lodging these submissions allow you to speak directly to Parliament regarding the active conversation for updated drug driving laws. This is the perfect opportunity to voice your opinion and help make change happen.

Download the submission (pdf)

Lodge a submission here

Recent posts

It’s time to be kind and drive change for medicinal cannabis

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 […]

Read more

Working and driving rights are human rights

If your prescribed medicine prevents you from driving and working, what does that mean for your human rights? The UK’s Cannabis Industry Council released a report this week into workplace issues for medicinal cannabis patients who are regarded as disabled under UK work, health and safety laws. Despite its specificity, it is a worthwhile read […]

Read more