Greens push for green reform
NSW Greens MLC John Kaye has launched a bill to shield medical users of cannabis from criminal prosecution.
The Drug Legislation Amendment (Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes) Bill 2014 seeks to exempt terminally ill patients and their carers, who are certified by a treating doctor, from prosecution for possession of up to 15 grams of crude cannabis.
Mr Kaye believes “the tide is turning” for marijuana regulation. The MLC cited increasing community and parliamentary support for law reform following the public struggle of cancer patient Daniel Haslam.
“Senior police, health experts and MPs from five of the six parties in parliament are calling for humanitarian reform … Even Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce … is now much more open to the idea,” Mr Kaye said.
After meeting with Mr Haslam last week, Mr Joyce has modified his previously hardline views on medicinal marijuana.
“I’m absolutely moved by the plight of the Haslams … If there’s a capacity to have medical use of cannabis and it’s properly controlled … then it’s worthy of consideration,” Mr Joyce said.
Slower speeds for inner city
Roads in the Sydney CBD running from Circular Quay to Hay Street are set to have their speed limit reduced by 10 km/h after the NSW Liberal government announced its plans to create a new 40 km/h zone by the end of 2014.
So far this year, three pedestrians have died as a result of road-related accidents, and the majority of pedestrian fatalities in the past four years have occurred in the proposed 40 km/h zone.
The announcement came after the eruption of public outcry over five school children being hit by cars in one week, prompting road safety experts to call for stricter speed limits.
City of Sydney council has welcomed the plan, with the Lord Mayor Clover Moore applauding the state government’s commitment to pedestrian safety.
“Pedestrians are very vulnerable road users, so even a slight reduction in vehicle speed can significantly reduce the severity and consequences of a collision,” she said.