ACT government denies asking company for medical marijuana
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ACT government denies asking company for medical marijuana

The ACT government has denied

On Thursday, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher dismissed the claims by Mullaways Medical Cannabis, posted on social media this week, saying she knew nothing about it.

"That's certainly not the case," she replied when asked if the government had asked anyone to supply medical cannabis to anyone, for any reason.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Mullaways claimed the ACT government had contacted them "to help organise medical cannabis for the suffering in there (sic) state".

"I would like to congratulate the ACT government for there (sic) courage to ask for help. Courage, it is a strength that comes from within and moves into your backbone and then it allows you to stand on your own. We can only hope that there (sic) strength will flow over to other states and will allow a flourishes of backbones to be formed in our politicians that has never been seen before," the post said.

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Greens minister Shane Rattenbury has released a proposed private member's bill that would allow terminally and chronically ill Canberrans to grow marijuana and use the drug to alleviate their pain and symptoms.

A spokeswoman from his office said that as far as they were aware, no one from the ACT government had contacted Mullaways asking them about supplying cannabis, as part of discussions relating to a potential medical cannabis scheme in the territory.

"As part of this office's consultation on our medicinal cannabis exposure draft legislation and discussion paper, the ACT Greens wrote to many people and groups that we knew had an interest in the issue, inviting them to make a submission on our proposal. Mullaways was one of the groups that received an invitation," she said.

Mullaways owner Tony Bower confirmed Mr Rattenbury's office had contacted him, but a copy of the email, seen by The Canberra Times, indicates he was asked if he wanted to make a submission on the Green MLA's proposal.

Mr Bower said he had been in correspondence with Mr Rattenbury's office.

The Facebook post was made just two days before Mr Bower appeared in Port Macquarie local court on Thursday on a charge of cultivating cannabis. He was jailed for a year, with a non-parole period of nine months, but has been released on bail pending an appeal, the Bendigo Advertiser reported. He is due to appear in court again on October 7.

A Legislative Assembly health committee is examining Mr Rattenbury's exposure draft and is due to report back next June. Mr Rattenbury's spokeswoman said that while they were hopeful the bill would pass the assembly next year and the ACT would establish a system allowing access to medical cannabis for the sick and dying, "it would be premature to discuss arrangements with anyone who might be interested in supplying cannabis for a possible ACT model".

"We haven't done this. We are waiting to finish consultation with the community, awaiting the outcome of a Legislative Assembly committee on the issue, and expect to engage in further discussions with the ACT government and opposition about our proposal in the future," she said.

Meanshile, a report in The Age newspaper on Thursday revealed that desperate parents who believe they are using cannabis oil to treat chronically ill children could be administering nothing but methylated spirits, alcohol and water. A Victoria Police analysis suggests up to 40 per cent of allegedly cannabis vials bought by Victorian families contained only these three ingredients.

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