Australia moves to legalise medical marijuana

Law that would legalise cannabis for medical treatments is supported by opposition and is likely to pass in parliament.

f3046d65219f4cf097a01c51ebf336f1_18Medicinal marijuana growers will be licensed and distribution to patients will be controlled, the health ministry said [AP]

Australia is making key moves to legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes, the government announced.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said on Saturday that changes to existing legislation that bans the growing of marijuana will be introduced to parliament, with the aim of providing alternate treatment for people with debilitating illnesses.

“This government is incredibly sympathetic to the suffering of those Australians with debilitating illnesses and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available,” Ley said.

But growing cannabis for recreational purposes will still be illegal in Australia.

Smoking marijuana is widespread in Australia, and police in most states do not charge people found with small amounts for personal use. However, possessing or growing commercial quantities of cannabis is illegal.

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