Victoria to get medical marijuana by early 2017

By @Guneet_B on
Medical Marijuana For Epilepsy
People wearing marijuana leaf hats gather during a rally in support of cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Chile, Santiago March 18, 2015. Reuters

Approved growers in Victoria, Australia, will soon be able to grow medical cannabis to treat people with chronic illnesses. The changes to the Victorian law will make it the first state in the country to have an established medical marijuana industry.

The announcement was made yesterday by Premier Daniel Andrews and state ministers Jill Hennessy and Jaala Pulford, who said that as soon as the federal government gives its approval, medical marijuana will be available for treatment of epileptic children in 2017.

The legislation enforcing the changes to  Victorian law is expected to be introduced by the end of the year. An Office of Medicinal Cannabis will also be established.

The office will be responsible for overseeing the cultivation, production, distribution and consumption of medical marijuana products. It will also oversee the research and development aspects of the medical marijuana industry.

The move to legalise the use of medical marijuana in Victoria came after the Victorian Law Reform Commission report, which has been accepted by majority of the government, was released on Tuesday.

According to the report, the specialist doctors will decide on the eligibility of their patients for cannabis treatment. The report also strictly forbids people from growing their own cannabis, explaining that it is supposed to be grown by licenced manufacturers only.

With the help of further medical research, the availability of medical marijuana is expected to pave the way for the treatment of pain, nausea and spasms associated with HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The introduction of the reform in the state will require a series of changes to be introduced into a number of state drug laws, including the Narcotic Drugs Act, the Therapeutic Goods Act and quarantine and customs laws. The changes will allow medical practitioners to store medical cannabis and administer them to their patients.

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