The state of Victoria, Australia will produce Medicinal Cannabis which will be used as a treatment for children as early as 2017.
Medicinal products rich in Cannabidiol (CBD), such as tinctures and oils, will be, for the first time, available to Australian children as a treatment for severe epilepsy.
A bill was passed by the Victorian Government, enabling access to medical marijuana to patients suffering from prolonged and acute seizures, nausea and pain resulting from cancer or AIDS and patients suffering muscle spasms as a result of MS (Multiple Sclerosis).Patients with different diagnosis will be able to use medicinal cannabis if only if it is firstly approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. This legislation will be into effect by the end of this year.
This big step forward is an outcome of the Victorian Law Reform Commission report earlier this year, in which, among 42 recommendations was one concerning the distribution of the drug through pharmacies to patients in need of the treatment. Also, contribution to this legislation had the Office of Medicinal Cannabis installing itself to provide research, development and access to those in need.
The leader of the government, Daniel Andrews had the following to say:
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.
40 out of 42 recommendations were supported by the government and 2 recommendations, related to the patient’s qualifications, are under investigation.
The report from the Victorian Law Reform Commission forbids growing at home:
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.
The Therapeutic Goods Act, the Narcotic Drugs Act and quarantine and customs laws will be subject of modification, however, there will be no need for federal legislation to grow the drug but the Commonwealth must give approval for the plan to progress.
Ian Freckleton, Specialist Commissioner, said that this legislation is revolutionary because medical marijuana patients are now free from prosecution.
The Premier’s statement that he has “no problem with the medicinal use of cannabis”, was followed by the support of the Health Minister Jill Henessey:
Victoria is leading the way on legalizing 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.
An evidence-based policy toward medical marijuana is the message the state of Victoria sends us. That, and as their Prime minister said:
“it’s about saving lives”!