Review of Narcotic Drugs Act 1967

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, has appointed Professor John McMillan AO to review and report on the operation of the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.

The Narcotic Drugs Act establishes a framework to both prevent abuse and diversion of controlled narcotics and to ensure the availability of such drugs for medical and research purposes, in accordance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Since October 2016, the Act was extended to provide for the regulation of cannabis cultivation and production in Australia, to enable a sustainable supply of safe medicinal cannabis products for therapeutic purpose.

A review of the operation of the Narcotics Drugs Act, as soon as possible after the second anniversary of the commencement of the 2016 amendments, is required under section 26A of that Act, with the report to be tabled in Parliament by 29 October 2019.

Professor McMillan has very strong legal credentials and administrative law experience in a range of areas relevant to the Review. He has had a number of appointments at the highest professional levels, including as an academic, practising administrative lawyer and Commonwealth agency head. These appointments include (Australian Information Commissioner, Commonwealth Ombudsman and acting NSW Ombudsman, Integrity Commissioner for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity. He is an Emeritus Professor at ANU with expertise in administrative and constitutional law).

A public consultation process will form part of the review and this is expected to commence in early 2019.

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