Lib-Nat government making medicinal cannabis legal

Lib-Nat government making medicinal cannabis legal


Australia’s conservative Liberal-National federal government is introducing legislation to parliament to allow the cultivation and use of medicinal cannabis under a national framework.

The move follows the announcement by Victoria’s state Labor government last year that it will legalise the drug for medical use in 2017.

cancer-patient-medical-marijuanaNew South Wales is also currently conducting trials into a cannabis-based drug, Epidolex, with a focus on children with epilepsy, and leading the state-based focus on medical marijuana.

The ABC News reports that federal health minister Sussan Ley has briefed the Labor Party opposition on the legislation, which will allow cultivation through a national licensing and permit scheme.

Ms Ley believes she has bipartisan support for the legislation.

The drug will not be decriminalised for general cultivation or recreational use.

Sussan-Ley-health-minister-LiberalMs Ley is hopeful both houses of parliament will approve the new laws in this session, but told ABC News it was complex legislation that needed to deal with a range of state and territory policies.

“We needed to make sure that we consulted with law enforcement, that we protect the integrity of the system and those who use it, and that we enabled the states to do what many of them are standing by ready to go ahead with,” she said.

Support for the use of medicinal cannabis for chronically and terminally ill patients has been growing in recent years, with NSW Liberal premier Mike Baird moved to act by the family of the late Daniel Haslam, who used cannabis to deal with his terminal colo-rectal cancer, despite the fact that his father was a former drug squad policeman.

commercial-marijuana-growers-medicinalVictorian premier Daniel Andrews made medicinal cannabis an election pledge after meeting young children with severe epilepsy whose symptoms show remarkable improvement from cannabis use.

ASX-listed Medlab Clinical became the first commercial business involved in therapeutic cannabis research last year after being selected by the NSW sate government to conduct the research at its Sydney laboratory.