Tens of thousands of Australians now have access to legal medicinal cannabis. Data from the Therapeutic Goods Administration shows the number of medicinal cannabis prescriptions doubled from 2020 to 2021 with more than 122,000 scripts written in 2021 alone.
In New South Wales our controversial driving laws are yet to catch up to the increasing trend of legal cannabis. Our current drug driving legislation creates an offence for any driver to be found to have a mere presence of a prescribed drug such as cannabis in their oral fluid, blood, or urine. The penalty available for a first offence is:
- $572 infringement; and
- Three-month licence suspension.
A recent New South Wales parliamentary enquiry in Sydney relating to medicinal cannabis driving has brought into question whether there should be law reform aimed at measuring impairment as opposed to the presence of cannabis in those who are driving with medicinal cannabis in their system.
It is argued that those who have been prescribed medicinal cannabis are being discriminated against as they face criminal penalties whereas other road users prescribed drugs such as opioids, Benzodiazepines and sedating antidepressants can drive without facing any penalty.
New South Wales parliament is set to review the current laws and will be provide a report in early August however whilst the laws remain the same we encourage you to contact our experienced criminal and traffic lawyers if you any questions or concerns regarding driving with cannabis in your system.
Photo 150486612 / Medicinal Cannabis © Kumruen Jittima | Dreamstime.com