Australia Passes Law For Legal Use Of Medical Cannabis
February 26, 2016 10:42 AM EST
Australia has just passed a historic law Wednesday that legalizes the production and use of marijuana for medical purposes.
After a series of controversial amendments to the country's Narcotics Drugs Act, cannabis is now permitted to be legally grown in select areas for medical treatment purposes as well as for scientific research.
"This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals. This is the missing piece in a patient's treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced medicinal cannabis products from farm to pharmacy," Minister for Health Sussan Ley said in a statement as quoted in a report by CNN.
However, with the legalization comes a new regulatory agency that would tightly manage the cultivation, manufacture, and license-granting to would-be growers and suppliers.
"The implications of it are a regulatory regime can be established in Australia that will allow applicants to grow medicinal cannabis which is absolutely fantastic," remarked Elaine Darby, CEO of AusCann- a cannabis grower poised to benefit from the new law- as quoted by ABC Australia.
The strongest advocacy group behind the medical marijuana movement was organization United in Compassion founded by Lucy Haslam- mother of deceased 25-year-old Daniel Haslam who regularly used medical cannabis as pain and nausea reliever from his toxic chemotherapy treatment for terminal bowel cancer.
In his speech shortly after the amendment vote Senator Richard Di Natale reminded the public of the importance of the senate approval.
"It is incredibly fitting that today we are passing this bill which is one step towards making medicinal cannabis accessible to people like Dan. Thank you to Lucy for everything you have done. Please know that your family's grief, pain and suffering has not been in vain and this is a legacy that Dan will leave here in Parliament," the senator said as quoted by the Inquisitr.