Controlled Substances (Simple Cannabis Offences) Amendment Bill

23 Feb 2011 archivespeech

This speech is to indicate support for the Controlled Substances (Simple Cannabis Offences) Amendment Bill.

Adjourned debate on second reading.

(Continued from 29 September 2010.)

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (18:14): Given the hour, and given that I have made contributions on cannabis consumption in the past, I will be brief.

The Hon. T.J. Stephens: Did you say you made contributions when you were on cannabis?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: No, I did not say that. Mr President, he is delaying—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I am sure that we can all see through the smoke.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I rise to indicate that we will be supporting this bill. I think that we have much higher potency levels of cannabis than we have had in the past due to hydroponics and who knows—interbreeding of various species. I remember being on jury duty and there was a grower who talked at length about various types of cannabis, which was an education.

I note from the honourable member's contribution that, obviously, she is very concerned about dealers and the fact that the current laws enable a dealer to split up their stock, if you like, into sizes which enable the sale of this substance to occur quite easily (in smaller sizes), and therefore the gram size is to be reduced from 100 to 25 grams, and I think that is to be supported.

There is growing evidence about the health impacts of cannabis (it being the most prevalent illicit drug consumed by Australians, and particularly South Australians), particularly with respect to mental health. As recently as last month, a medical study concluded that people who consume cannabis are much more likely to suffer from schizophrenia, which demonstrates that we ought to exercise extreme caution in tolerating cannabis use. With those brief remarks, I indicate support for this bill.