Support for the legalisation of medical marijuana in Australia continues to grow, with a proposed bill to be put before federal Parliament next month.
Chairman of the cross-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Green Senator Richard Di Natale, will introduce the bill in October, following the surprising public show of support for medical cannabis by Prime Minister Tony Abbott last month, The SMH reported.
In a letter addressed to radio host Alan Jones, Abbott said “I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates.”
“If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose… and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality,” the PM said.
Di Natale’s proposed bill encompasses how the substance should be processed and regulated, as well as the coordination of grow licensing and quality control.
If approved, the federal government would oversee the production and distribution of medical marijuana for patients with chronic pain and illnesses, as it already does with medical opiates.
“I am open to any discussions with the Prime Minister’s office to maximise the chance of success,” Di Natale said.
Any form of medicinal marijuana must first be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, accompanied by favourable supporting data.
The NSW Government agreed to clinical trials for medical marijuana use, with Premier Mike Baird swayed by the plight of a 24-year-old cancer sufferer who uses the drug and the surprise advocacy of a Nationals MP.
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