On Wednesday night, state parliament unanimously passed the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016, set to come into effect in March of 2017. The act of cannabis legalisation is not the first of its kind, with the substance already legal in Victoria and New South Wales. Though the specifics of the QLD act set great distance between it and its counterparts, with two different frameworks enabled for medicinal cannabis treatment.
When comparing the laws, Victoria’s Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016 allows patients medicinal cannabis products, but only if they are children suffering from severe epilepsy. In addition, NSW’s Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment Regulations require individual patients to be examined by an expert panel prior to their approved use of the drug.
Speaking with Parliment, Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick said the bill would “change the paradigm for seriously ill patients who feel compelled to seek out illicit cannabis treatment options by enshrining in an act a legal and safe pathway through which to access medicinal cannabis treatment.” His overall opinion was that the move was a “groundbreaking reform.”
While the Health Minister was extremely proud of the move, stating it was the “most flexible in the country”, it became clear local GP’s would still go through a heavily regulated process should they wish to be given approval in order to supply the drug.
Huge progression, regardless.
Photo via Independent.