Australia Joins the World in Legalizing Medical Marijuana
Photo Credit - Marijuana Down Under
Cannabis has been used as an effective medicine for thousands of years. Australia has just joined the countless civilizations that recognized the great medicinal value of this herb.
Australia’s parliament introduced a bill in February, 2016 that made the use of medical marijuana (MMJ) legal throughout the country. This bill enacts a national licensing and permit system that will allow people with painful and chronic conditions to purchase Marijuana.
Legislation received full support from the opposition party and is the LAW at the end of March, 2016. It is clear that Australia's Medical status quo now officially recognizes the undoubted efficacy of certain chemicals found in marijuana, including THC and CBD.
Quotes from Australian Parliament
"This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around Medical Cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals,"
"This is the missing piece in a patient's treatment journey and will now see seamless access to locally-produced Medical Cannabis products from farm to pharmacy."
“This government understands that there are some Australians suffering from severe conditions for which Cannabis may have applications and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available,”
-- Sussan Ley, Australia, Minister of Health
Australia Joins the Worldwide Movement to Legalize Marijuana
Marijuana is rapidly being legalized around the world with Australia’s move adding significant momentum. The Australian scheme makes Medical Marijuana legal nationally and is trumpeted as a simpler and better way, as opposed to, having each state create their own varying legislation.
“We are confident in creating one single, nationally consistent cultivation scheme, rather than eight individual arrangements, will not only help speed up the legislative and regulatory process, but ultimately access to Medical Cannabis products as well.”
In addition, the use of recreational Marijuana officially in the process of being downgraded Cannabis to a lower level (decriminalized) on the "Poisons Schedule".
“This will simplify arrangements around the legal possession of Medical Cannabis products, placing them in the same category as restricted medicines such as morphine, rather than an illicit drug. This will in turn reduce any barriers to access, no matter what state a patient lives in”
Australia's Medical Marijuana "Bare Bones" Plan
It remains to be seen how the bill operates in practice exactly. If further guidance is needed to effectively deliver Medical Marijuana to Australian patients, a more detailed Medical Cannabis bill is already drafted for implementation.
"We reserve the right to reintroduce our legislation if progress is too slow.. if we don't see the drug make its way to pharmacies and then through to doctors, we will look at reintroducing legislation which does that."
-- Australian Government Official
Additional Benefits of Legalization - Save Money and Reduce Organized Crime
Proponents say that legalizing recreational Cannabis would deprive organized crime organizations, including Middle Eastern gangs, Asian Triads, Bikers, and such, a major portion of their income lifeblood. Furthermore, police would be relieved of costly and overwhelming time consuming tasks of finding and destroying illegal grow operations.
Of the $1.5 billion spent annually in Australia on drug law enforcement, 70% is attributable to the Cannabis wild goose chase. The money saved from police Cannabis operations can go back into the pockets of citizens or toward fighting real criminals; murderers, thieves and violent offenders.
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