In case you missed it, the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill passed in Parliament overnight, making Victoria the first state in Australia to legalise medicinal marijuana. As previously reported, this doesn’t signal the 420 free-for-all most of us are probably waiting for (although, hopefully that’s only a matter of time). The growing of cannabis and manufacture of medicinal products is now legal and the first to be granted access to these in 2017 will be children who suffer from severe epilepsy.
Victoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy said these kids were made priority due to the proven benefits medical marijuana has had on their wellbeing.
“We want to improve the quality of their life. I just think that in this day and age, it’s unfair and unacceptable to ask a parent to make a decision between obeying the law and acting in the best interests of their child. Those parents will no longer have that dilemma.”
The drug will also be gradually rolled out to other eligible patients, including those in palliative care or with HIV. And it looks like other Australian states are slowly following suit, engaging in small clinical trials in Queensland and New South Wales.