There's plenty of times in history where the law has been shown to be out of step with community attitudes.
In Australia, the best example of this would be the 1967 referendum which recognised Aboriginal people in Australia as people, and not flora and fauna as had been the case.
There's a few other examples, the same-sex marriage plebiscite and in Queensland they legalised abortion which had previously been considered a criminal offence.
In this state, abortion is illegal in certain circumstances and there's work going about changing this.
The other place in this state where the law is out of step with some community standards is marijuana. If you were in Victoria, children with severe, treatment resistant epilepsy are able to legally use marijuana.
If you have multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS or cancer and live in Queensland, it can be legally prescribed by specialists.
The Australian Therapeutic Drugs Administration, with support from NSW, Queensland and Victoria, are examining the opportunities for cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes such as palliative care and chronic pain management.
There's no shortage of thought going on about the uses of cannabis. But perhaps the conviction of one Griffith woman points to an example where the government can act.
While we should respect the law as it stands, it doesn't mean we can't change it.
Criminalising users is a sure-fire way to occupy police and court resources, in this case for less than 30 grams of cannabis.
Is that the best use of police officer's and the court's time? Are the community's interests best served by convicting a person seeking marijuana for medicinal purposes?
The magistrate recognised 'unique circumstances' in her judgement.
If the government was looking to do the right thing by people in this state, a good place to start might be reducing the focus on users. The lesson of prohibition is that criminalising substances provides criminals an opportunity to maximise profits ... which leads to more crime.
There's a similar debate with pill testing.
However, it's likely that any change to how cannabis is treated by the law in this state is likely to benefit more people.
As further research and information into medicinal cannabis use is published, it will mean this debate about legalisation is one that the community will have to have.
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