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Rehabilitation must be available if cannabis legalised: minister


Mental Health Minister Shane Rattenbury said he wanted to remove the stigma so cannabis users could seek help.Credit:Jamila Toderas Greens minister Shane Rattenbury says government must prepare for a surge in cannabis users seeking mental health support, if the drug is legalised in the ACT. However Mr Rattenbury said the increase would stem from existing users, who were too scared to seek help for their addiction while the drug was still outlawed. The Mental Health Minister was responding to questions from Liberals Vicki Dunne and Giulia Jones, who questioned what advice the territory government has had from its various directorates about the backbench bid to legalise cannabis for personal use. The private members bill from Labor's Michael Pettersson has attracted support from Labor and the Greens, although debate over the details of the legislation is expected to stretch over the coming months. Wednesday's question time was a preview to the issues that are expected to dominate debate next week, with the Liberal party concerned over the health and road safety aspects of the legislation. Mrs Dunne asked Mr Rattenbury whether government had begun researching the demand for rehabilitation services ahead of the prospective legalisation. “I think one of the issue