Medicinal Marijuana – Queenslanders Given Access To Drug

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Patients with a range of medical conditions will be allowed to access legal medicinal cannabis products in Queensland from March next year.

The State Parliament last night unanimously passed the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016, will allow greater use of medicinal cannabis products for some patients.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the legislation would provide a "transparent and robust regulatory framework to manage access to medicinal cannabis".

"My Government has been moved by the stories of families with young children with epilepsy, suffering life-threatening seizures, and what they have to go through on a daily basis," she said.

The legislation provides a comprehensive medical oversight for the prescription of the drug.

Public Health Minister Cameron Dick said the reform was a "game changer for seriously ill patients who often feel compelled to seek out illicit cannabis treatment options".

The use of medicinal cannabis will be integrated into patient treatment plans and overseen by a medical practitioner, to ensure the right monitoring and controls are in place.

"Before they can be prescribed, medicinal cannabis products will still need to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration," Mr Dick said.

During the debate over the bill in Parliament last night, Buderim MP Steve Dickson was praised for his ongoing advocacy for a move towards legalising medicinal cannabis.

Mr Dickson said the bill could be the most important to come before the House in 2016.

"I have been a strong advocate for the use of medicinal cannabis for treating chronic illnesses since the issue was brought to my attention by a local healthcare worker on the Sunshine Coast some 18 months ago," he said.

"In November 2015 I sponsored a parliamentary petition calling for an amnesty relating to the use of medicinal cannabis.

"This petition was signed by over 13,000 Queenslanders in only 24 days. This groundswell of public support has given the mandate, and renewed purpose, to pursue the implementation of a legislative framework for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis."

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Medicinal Marijuana – Queenslanders Given Access To Drug
Author: Staff
Contact: Sunshine Coast Daily
Photo Credit: Kelly Butterworth
Website: Sunshine Coast Daily