The Federal Government had announced earlier this month that it is looking to legalize the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
According to a report from ABC Australia, Health Minister Sussan Ley has said that the government wants to ensure that people who are suffering from debilitating illnesses are able to gain access to the most effective medical treatments, including medical cannabis.
Moreover, she also said that she has heard stories about patients trying to obtain cannabis illegally in order to improve their quality of life and relieve their pain. This is why Ley believes it is highly important now to “support a safe, legal and sustainable supply” of medical cannabis.
As part of this initiative, the government also plans to make amendments to its Narcotics Drugs Act to allow for cannabis to be grown in the country for the purpose of medicine and science without being in breach of any international drug treaties.
Earlier this month, the Andrews Labor Government has also announced it shall legalize access to locally manufactured medical cannabis products for use during “exceptional circumstances” beginning 2017. This decision was made following the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s Report on Medical Cannabis. Moreover, the Government shall also give priority to children suffering with severe epilepsy when it comes to access to medicinal cannabis in 2017.
At the same time, the New South Wales (NSW) Government has also recently launched the Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme (TICS). The said scheme provides guidelines for NSW police officers in helping them identify “appropriate circumstances” wherein they can use their discretion in deciding not to charge adults with terminal illnesses who are using cannabis or any cannabis product. Furthermore, NSW residents aged 18 years or older can register for the TICS.
Meanwhile, the NSW has also said it will invest as much as $9 million in cannabis clinical trials and up to $12 million to put up the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation.