“I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates,” Mr Abbott wrote in a letter to Jones dated August 23.
“I was under the impression that the personal use of cannabis was no longer an offence in NSW.
“If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose though and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality. And if a drug that is proven to be safe abroad is needed here it should be available.
“I agree that the regulation of medicines is a thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self interest.
“My basic contention is that something that has been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn’t need to be tested again here.”
Jones read out the letter from Mr Abbott – who has not commented publicly on the issue before – on his 2GB breakfast program on Wednesday. The influential presenter has been campaigning on behalf of 24-year-old Dan Haslam, who has been using cannabis to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy to treat his terminal cancer.
Mr Abbott’s intervention was welcomed by Mr Haslam’s mother, Lucy, who has launched a popular online petition to decriminalise cannabis for pain relief.
And on the other side of the ditch John Key has his head up his proverbial…