Medical Cannabis bill passes in Australian parliament

Today the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill 2016 was passed in both houses of the Australian parliament, opening the doors for medical marijuana in Australia.

Australia already has laws surrounding the import and exports of cannabis products, however the growing and distributing medical marijuana in Australia isn’t legal.

The new law is very specific, “licensing and permit schemes for the cultivation and production of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal and scientific purposes.”

During the debate, some senators mentioned the positive impacts medical weed had on people in their electorates, many of whom had to risk jail to obtain medicinal cannabis treatment.

The Senate was overwhelmingly in favour of the bill,  Tasmania Labor senator Anne Urquhart became visibly emotional at one point as she recounted the experience of a mother from the state’s north west coast trying to get treatment for her young daughter April.

“April suffers from Dravet syndrome that causes her more than 1000 seizures a day,” explained the senator. “At their wits end Jessie and her partner Paul turned to cannabis oil in an attempt to contain April’s attacks.

“It wouldn’t be an overstatement to describe April’s turn around as miraculous. With her attacks dropping from triple digits to as few as six.”

Minister Ley announced the establishment of a national regulator, which will “closely track the development of cannabis products for medicinal use from cultivation to supply and curtail any attempts by criminals to get involved.”

“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,” Ms Ley said.