Australia is making a major move to legalize the use of medicinal cannabis across the entire country. Over the week, the Therapeutics Goods Administration reached a formal decision to legalize medicinal marijuana, although it will remain strictly controlled. This recent decision comes on the heels of the Federal Parliament’s resolve to support changing the Narcotic Drugs Act to allow cannabis to be legally grown and produced in Australia for medicinal purposes.
Although Aussies certainly have a reason to rejoice the impending legalization of medicinal cannabis, it’s important to note that it may still take a while to implement a fully functional system that ensures patient access. Recreational use of marijuana will remain illegal under the new law change, but the decision to legalize medicinal use across the entire country is nothing to scoff at, and is an essential step towards full legalization.
Still, Australia and their newfound medicinal cannabis industry has their work set out for them. According to Lucy Haslam, a medicinal cannabis campaigner and the co-founder of United in Compassion, there is reason to be concerned about the pricing of medicinal cannabis, as well as the lack of education that currently exists on the matter.
"My fear is that the industry will become so expensive that patients won't be able to access a legal supply at an affordable price," said Haslam. "There's also a lot of work to do on educating people and doctors, some of who remain a bit uncomfortable about prescribing medical cannabis to patients."
Although the new medical marijuana system in Australia will be under strict control, allowing citizens to legally grow and produce cannabis as a medicinal product will likely bring in a lot of money for the entire country. We will have to wait until November to see how accessible and efficient Australia’s cannabis industry will be for patients in need, but the fact that medicinal marijuana will soon be legalized countrywide is breaking news all on its own.