Children in Australia first to try Medicinal Cannabis
Medicinal Cannabis will be grown in the state of Victoria Australia and given to children as early as 2017 .
Legislation will come into effect by the end of 2015, with the Office of Medicinal Cannabis establishing itself to provide research, development and access to those with medicinal needs. The first people to gain access will be children suffering from severe epilepsy, they will be provided with oils, tinctures and other non smokable medicinal CBD rich products.
This move comes after the Victorian Law Reform Commission handed down 42 recommendations in their report on August 31, including how to dispense the drug through pharmacies to patients who have been prescribed treatment by a medical specialist.
Patients must suffer severe epileptic seizures, muscle spasms resulting from multiple sclerosis, severe pain and nausea arising from cancer or HIV/AIDS or chronic pain approved by two specialists.
Patients with other medical conditions may be considered in exceptional circumstances but must be approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews described the announcement today as one of the best days of his political career:
“Landmark reform means Victorian families will no longer have to decide between breaking the law and watching their child suffer……There are about 450 of those beautiful little people and they are going to get the medicine they need for the first time,”
“The time has come for us to stop finding reasons to do this.”
“It is about saving lives.”
The government supports 40 of the commission’s recommendations and will further investigate two recommendations relating to patient eligibility after receiving advice from medical specialists.
The report does however forbid growing at home with its chair stating:
“The best way to treat the approved patients with medicinal marijuana is through the medicinal and pharmaceutical system.”
“This report is driven by compassion and medical responsibility.”
Specialist Commissioner Ian Freckleton said the new legislation was ground breaking and would stop desperate patients and their families from being prosecuted by the law for using medical marijuana.
There is no need for federal legislation to cultivate the drug but the Commonwealth must give permission for the scheme to go ahead.
Laws will need amending including the Therapeutic Goods Act, the Narcotic Drugs Act and quarantine and customs laws.
The Prime Minister has stated before that he has “no problem with the medicinal use of cannabis” and other politicians have followed suit in commenting on this ground breaking report:
“Victoria is leading the way on legalising medicinal cannabis because we know the difference it can make to a patient’s quality of life, and because we know the evidence is growing in support of it as a treatment.” – Health Minister Jill Henessey
“Totally support it. The logical thing is for us to be growing it here and distilling it here so we know the quality.” – Greens MP Coleen Hartland
With the Australian Government and many more countries around the world moving toward a more evidence based policy in relation to medicinal cannabis, we hope that the British Government will stand up and take note, for as the Premier of Victoria stated today, “it’s about saving lives”.