A volunteer organisation representing Illawarra residents living with cancer wants cannabis approved for medicinal use to help people suffering chronic pain.
Cancer survivor Sally Crossing told a NSW parliamentary committee hearing this week it "seemed self-evident" that cannabis relieved pain for many sufferers.
"Enabling the medical use of cannabis is commonsense and kindness," said Ms Crossing, who is deputy chair of the voluntary advocacy group Cancer Voices NSW.
"While we watch the Americas and Europe gradually seeing the benefits of treating cannabis like alcohol, let's focus on this present compelling matter - allowing cannabis to be used as a medical drug for those symptoms it can alleviate."
The committee is inquiring into the feasibility and safety of using cannabis as a medicine, the legal implications and how it could be supplied to patients.
Ms Crossing said her group - which has a large following in the Illawarra - was in favour of medicinal cannabis use, with the proper legal and medical protocols and assurance of safe delivery.
She said stronger drugs classed as illegal had long been approved for medicinal use without problems.
"Too many people think it's the thin end of the wedge or the beginning of the slippery slope," Ms Crossing said.
She said other painkillers could have severe side-effects whereas cannabis could do the job without side effects, as shown in some states in the United States.
"We see major benefits, specifically for relief of symptoms and side effects which are often not well managed now," she said.
"We fully support the placement of controls to ensure appropriate prescribing protocols and safe and efficient delivery to people for whom it has been prescribed.
"I am speaking today for a lot of people, those who have cancer. Some of us will die of our disease and some won't.
"Regardless, the comfort of knowing that a helpful drug has been added to the fairly limited offerings we have now would be very welcome."
The group supported the Parliament's previous attempt to consider "legislating sensibleness into the relevant legislation".
It is now asking those with the "power" to recommend that an amendment is made to the relevant act, with adequate safeguards in place.