Two area mayors have a wild difference of opinion on the prospect of growing medical cannabis in the region.
While Griffith’s John Dal Broi says the region has a proven track record of growing the crop, Murrumbidgee Council administrator Austin Evans doubts there would be a market for it.
“I don’t think there would be the market or the demand for it,” Mr Evans said.
“It’s not like cotton where there’s a large market and people want to go into it, I’m not sure this will be a huge quantity crop.”
On Saturday, Councillor Dal Broi told The Daily Advertiser that politicians had sat on their hands for too long and medical cannabis should be grown in the area.
“I think it’s a good idea, we’ve grown it here illegally over the years so why not legally?” Cr Dal Broi said.
“We’ve grown it, people have been jailed for growing it, we can grow the stuff and from all reports people with chronic pain get some relief.”
Medical cannabis campaigners from the area and beyond had recently been calling for an amnesty from prosecution for patients using the drug.
Griffith veterinary nurse Kelly Cameron, who had used cannabis oil to treat crippling arthritis, said if NSW Premier Mike Baird could abolish greyhound racing, seemingly overnight, then he could certainly help patients living in fear.
From August 2, doctors in NSW will be able to apply to prescribe a broader range of cannabis-based medicines as a result of regulatory changes.
Premier Mike Baird said the move meant cannabis-based medicines previously only able to be used in clinical trials could be considered by doctors for patients who had exhausted standard treatment options.
“People who are seriously ill should be able to access these medicines if they are the most appropriate next step in their treatment,” Mr Baird said.
“This change increases the options available for doctors as it means a broader range of cannabis-based medicines can be prescribed, while we continue our evidence-based research looking further into the role medicinal cannabis can play.”
Cr Evans said farmers were generally willing to try anything if they could “make a go of it”.