Fiona Patten’s Track Record on Law Reform of Drug and Other Social Issues
This year’s Victorian State election on November 24 will mark four years of the Sex/Reason Party being in the Victorian parliament.
In those four short years the party’s leader, Fiona Patten, has achieved a lot. The ABC’s morning show host John Faine called her “the most effective legislator in Australia today” and many are saying that she has been the most effective cross-bencher in the Victorian Parliament, ever.
But why would you be surprised. She’s the only politician in Australia who is out and proud about her long-standing use of cannabis.
So here’s what a politician who uses cannabis has done in her first term:
In 2016 she became the first politician in Australia to move a motion to legalise recreational use of cannabis.
She initiated and took part in the largest and most comprehensive parliamentary enquiry into drug law reform ever undertaken by an Australian parliament. If re elected, she will launch a major enquiry into Random Drug Testing off the back of the report.
She initiated and pushed through the legislation to establish a medically supervised injecting centre in Melbourne which the Premier was implacably opposed to. This centre is now seeing over 200 people a day.
She moved an Amendment to broaden the Medicinal Cannabis legislation in Victoria to make it available to a much wider range of people than was first considered but her amendment failed with all parties including the Greens voting against it. As a result medical cannabis can only be prescribed to children under 18 with epilepsy which means it’s hardly available at all.
She tabled two petitions against the use of sniffer dogs.
She initiated new laws to put exclusion zones around abortion clinics in Victoria to stop religious nutters from interfering with women going for an abortion.
She initiated and oversaw a parliamentary committee that paved the way for Victoria’s ground-breaking laws that legalised voluntary assisted dying.
She put forward the Private Members Bill that ultimately saw the legalisation of ride sharing services in Victoria like Uber.
She introduced a Bill to tax religious businesses who currently pay no tax at all and she introduced an amendment to the Electoral Reform Bill to cap election spending so that the coming state election will be the last multi million dollar election campaign ever waged in Victoria.
Unlike the Greens and the other major parties who have millions of dollars to spend at election time, the Reason Party is 100% staffed by volunteers and does not receive any money from big business or large lobby groups.
We need to make sure she is re elected so she can continue her work to legalise illicit drugs in Victoria.
Please consider making a tax deductible donation to get two or three Reason members elected at the coming election and help secure the socially progressive gains she has made in Victoria and to pursue drug law reform at a parliamentary level. You can donate on the Reason website: https://www.reason.org.au/act_donate