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‘Current drug driving laws are unfair’, ALA says

A peak body for Australian lawyers has thrown its support behind amending current drug driving laws that target prescription cannabis. 

user iconNaomi Neilson 05 February 2021 Big Law
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As the South Australian Parliament prepares to debate current drug driving laws, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has condemned the legislation that strips drivers of their licence for taking medicinal cannabis without evidence of impaired driving. 

ALA’s South Australian president Sarah Vinall said that the laws were “simply not fair” and added: “People lose their license and sometimes their job, not because of impaired driving but because of flawed laws.” 

 
 

The ALA is supporting changes to the Road Traffic (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill 2021 because it will “fix the unfair and outdated law” that tends to carry severe penalties for medicinal cannabis patients targeted behind the wheel. 

Ms Vinall said that drivers who take opioids or other prescription medication do not find themselves in court or risking their licence the same way medicinal cannabis patients do. 

Currently, it is illegal to drive with any presence of tetrahydrocannabinol detected, regardless of whether a person is impaired. This makes cannabis the only medication that excludes the individual from driving completely, ALA explained. 

“These drug driving laws were developed before cannabis became a legally recognised prescribed medication and the law needs to change to stay relevant. We urge all legislators in South Australia and the South Australian government to support this bill,” ALA said.