Queensland’s health minister Cameron Dick is set to introduce new laws allowing the widespread use of medicinal cannabis in Queensland.
Mr Dick said the legislation, to be introduced today (Tuesday), would establish a framework for the legal use of medicinal cannabis after overwhelming public support for the change.
A draft of the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 was released in March and 96 per cent of the 1052 people surveyed about the legislation supported it, Mr Dick said.
‘To manage medicinal cannabis use in future, particularly if patient demand for this type of treatment increases, a more specific, transparent and robust regulatory framework is required,’ Mr Dick said.
‘The new legislation will provide that framework.
‘It will allow the use of medicinal cannabis products in Queensland provided they are based on medical evidence and supported by clinical treatment plans.’
The Queensland government last week approved Australia’s first medically-supervised prescription for medicinal cannabis for an individual patient.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new legislation would not give the green light for recreational use, or allow people to grow their own cannabis, even for therapeutic use.
She said it was an opportunity for local businesses to supply medicinal cannabis and the government was helping them within the Commonwealth’s licensing scheme.
Ms Palaszczuk said the legislation would provide relief for people suffering.
‘I have been moved by the stories of families with young children with epilepsy, suffering life-threatening seizures, and what they have to go through on a daily basis,’ she said.
It comes a day after the death of a cancer-stricken three-year-old Cairns girl given cannabis oil in December 2014 by her desperate father, who was charged and ultimately fined.