TV presenter Meshel Laurie has taken a dig at her former The Project co-host Lisa Wilkinson for rallying around parliament’s new plan to ease restrictions around medical cannabis.
Wilkinson, 62, raised eyebrows on Sunday night’s show when she claimed it was ‘common sense’ for medical cannabis users in Australia to be allowed to drive.
Laurie, 49, who has been a vocal critic of The Project since being sacked by Ten in 2019, responded to Wilkinson’s claims by joking that the journalist has a vested interest in promoting cannabis.
TV presenter Meshel Laurie, 49, (left) has taken a dig at her former The Project co-host Lisa Wilkinson, 62, (right) for rallying around parliament’s new plan to ease restrictions around medical cannabis on Sunday’s show
‘Just invested in a cannabis farm no doubt,’ Laurie sarcastically captioned a screenshot of a Daily Mail Australia’s story reporting Wilkinson’s claims on Sunday night.
The podcaster completed her post with an eye-roll emoji and a laughing/crying emoji.
Laurie has since deleted her post.
During The Sunday Project, co-hosts Hamish Macdonald (left) and Wilkinson (right) agreed that there should be ‘common sense’ cannabis laws in Australia
‘Just invested in a cannabis farm no doubt,’ Laurie sarcastically captioned a screenshot of a Daily Mail Australia’s story reporting Wilkinson’s claims on Sunday night
Wilkinson’s comments came after Greens senator David Shoebridge announced the progressive’s party’s push to legalise the drug in a controversial draft bill to be released for public consultation later this year – before hitting the floor of parliament for vote some time next year.
Part of the proposed legislation would allow medical cannabis users to legally get behind the wheel of a car – something already permitted in the state of Tasmania as long as drivers are not impaired.
‘Surely this is just common sense,’ the Channel Ten host said, when speaking about differentiating between driving after using medicinal cannabis for pain and driving after using it recreationally.
Laurie has been a vocal critic of The Project since being sacked by Ten in 2019. (Pictured: Laurie on The Project before being fired with Waleed Aly, Wilkinson and Anthony Lehmann)
‘This is doctors talking to police and – a box being ticked.
‘Tasmania as is so often the case, gets it right.’
The Greens, on the back of their federal election success in May, are hoping to put pressure on Anthony Albanese’s Labor government to pass the bill allowing cannabis to be legalised in Australia for personal use.
‘More than 40 per cent of Australians at some point have smoked cannabis and having the law make that 40 per cent of Australians criminals is just plain ridiculous,’ Greens senator David Shoebridge told Nine news.
‘We want to legislate to legalise cannabis by the end of next year.’
He said Australian’s have been told to wait for cannabis law reform for too long, adding that more harm to the community is being inflicted by ‘policing the drug’.
Though the states have consistently said no to legalising cannabis, constitutional lawyer Patrick Keyzer said the Federal Government can override them.
Wilkinson’s comments came after Greens senator David Shoebridge announced the progressive’s party’s push to legalise the drug in a controversial draft bill to be released for public consultation later this year – before hitting the floor of parliament for vote some time next year. Pictured is a woman smoking a joint
‘It’s happened in Canada and in many states in the US and the world hasn’t caved in,’ he said.
For more than two years, the ACT has allowed adults to possess up to 50g of dried or 150g of fresh cannabis.
It has also been legal for people to grow two plants per person and smoke it at home for personal use.
AFL legend Barry Hall (pictured left with partner Lauren Brant) has revealed he has used cannabis to help manage pain in the past
The Coalition government under Scott Morrison did nothing to stop it.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THC AND CBD
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are both derived from the cannabis plant.
Together, they are part of the cannabinoid group of compounds found in hashish, hash oil, and most strains of marijuana.
THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric, ‘high’ feeling often associated with marijuana.
THC interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates the sensations of euphoria and anxiety.
CBD does not fit these receptors well, and actually decreases the effects of THC, and is not psychoactive.
CBD is thought to help reduce anxiety and inflammation.
Professor Keyzer said the Federal Government could at any time have disallowed that legislation, but chose not to.
Jamaica, Mexico, Malta, Germany, Uruguay, South Africa, The Netherlands, Portugal and various states in the US are just some of the places that have all made personal cannabis use legal.
In Australia, 260,000 scripts have been filled for medicinal cannabis in just six years.
About half of all prescriptions handed out have been issued in Queensland where a review is currently underway to examine whether patients should be exempt from drug driving prosecutions.
AFL legend Barry Hall told the Sunday Project that he has used non-psychoactive medical cannabis oil that does not contain THC, to help him sleep after his gruelling athletic career.
‘I’ve tried the CBD oil because I get a lot of pain and have a bit of trouble sleeping, that was a long time ago now but I put a couple of drops under the tongue and slept like a baby,’ the former Sydney Swans star said. ‘It really worked for me.’
‘But I did get the oil from Nimbin and I think there might have been a touch of THC in it,’ Hall joked.
‘Because before I went to bed I had four boxes of Cheezels and a block of chocolate.’
A Federal Government spokesperson said it is not going to legalise cannabis, but the Greens say they will introduce the legislation anyway.
One of the people who may benefit from a change in the law is Scott Ford, who uses medicinal cannabis because of injuries suffered during nearly 20 years in the RAAF.
The former flight sergeant served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the tours of duty that left physical and emotional scars.
He lives with chronic pain as a result of a fall in training and also sufferers from a range of other injuries.
‘I got to the point that the pain specialist said, ‘You can’t keep using opioids. So you have to look at other options’.’
The option his doctor suggested was medicinal cannabis. Mr Ford is one of 70,000 legal cannabis patients in Australia, many of whom include veterans.
Under current laws, Mr Ford is at risk of losing his driving licence every time he gets behind the wheel – even though the medication does not affect his ability to operate a car.
For Mr Ford, legislative change can’t come soon enough.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured) will be pressured by the Greens to support their bill to legalise cannabis use