Police statement on medicinal cannabis

PARENTS: Cassie Batten and Rhett Wallace. Picture: JOE ARMAO

PARENTS: Cassie Batten and Rhett Wallace. Picture: JOE ARMAO

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Victoria Police has released a statement on its facebook page commenting on the case of Cassie Batten and Rhett Wallace.

Police raided the couple's home just over a week ago because they were giving cannabis oil to their son.

Police's treatment of the couple has caused widespread controversy and added fuel to debate about medicinal cannabis. 

Supporters of medicinal cannabis have said Ms Batten and Mr Wallace were medicating their son for his severe seizures and should not be treated as criminals.

The Victorian government has indicated it has no intention of legalising medicinal cannabis. 

The statement, authored by Acting Assistant Commissioner Rick Nugent, read as follows: 

Victoria Police fully understands the community concerns around our investigations into Cassie Batten and her partner, Rhett Wallace.

This is of course an enormously unfortunate situation for all involved and we understand the extremely challenging circumstances this couple have faced.

I would like to assure the community that whilst we are obliged under law to investigate this matter, it is not done without compassion or the best interests of all involved at heart.

I am absolutely clear that this matter should be investigated in a timely and appropriate fashion, that takes into account the difficult choices Cassie and Rhett have had to make.

Victoria Police fully recognises that there is a legitimate debate that needs to be had on the use of cannabis in medical circumstances.

But this is a matter for parliaments to resolve for the good of the communities they represent.

Victoria Police serves the law and our members are obliged to work within the legislation. The simple fact is that cannabis is illegal in Victoria, and it is an offence to possess and introduce a drug of dependence to another person.

Police have the ability to exercise discretion in some cases but when an indictable offence is brought to our attention, we must act and investigate.

Victoria Police can only work within the constraints of the law and this is what we have done in this situation.

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