Sussan Ley, health minister of Australia, announced recently that the Australian government was putting together a licensing plan that would permit the cultivation and the distribution of medical and scientific marijuana. The goal of the plan was to deliver a legal, safe and “sustainable supply” of locally grown marijuana for the first time in the country’s history.
In an official press statement Ley said: “Allowing the cultivation of legal medicinal cannabis crops in Australia under strict controls strikes the right balance between patient access, community protection and our international obligations.” In a national radio interview she admitted that she had been touched by tales of various individuals who found relief in medical marijuana.
She stated: “I have heard stories of patients who have resorted to illegal methods of obtaining cannabis and I have felt for them, because with a terminal condition, the most important thing is quality of life and relief of pain. This government is incredibly sympathetic to the suffering of those Australians with debilitating illnesses and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available.”
And we know that many people are calling out for medicinal cannabis. It is important therefore that we recognize those calls for help, that we put in place what we know will support a safe, legal and sustainable supply of a product.”
Politically speaking, the Labor opposition announced they were in favor of the move with the Australian government envisioning that marijuana would be made available solely to patients who had a physician’s prescription or as part of a medical trial. Ley stressed that this did not in any way indicate that legal recreational marijuana use was any nearer.
Ley concluded: “At the end of the day, cannabis is classified as an illegal drug in Australia for recreational use and we have no plans to change that.”
Australia To Legalize Medical Marijuana