Earlier today, Queensland’s Palaszcuk Government introduced its medicinal cannabis legislation into State Parliament.
“This legislation will provide a transparent and robust regulatory framework to manage access to medicinal cannabis,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“It has been informed by consultation with medical specialists and stakeholder groups, Hospital and Health Services and importantly members of the public and potential recipients.”
In March, the government invited comment on its Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016. There was a good response, with more than a thousand people submitting feedback.
The Premier said she had been moved by the stories of struggles families with young children with epilepsy face.
“Today marks another milestone for those who have campaigned tirelessly for changes that will allow access to medicinal cannabis,” said the Premier.
According to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick, 96% of the feedback received from the public consultation was supportive of medical cannabis; sending the government a strong message about the issue.
Assuming the legislation passes, Mr. Dick says it would mean Queensland had the most progressive laws in the country. He said the legislation would also set up the necessary regulatory oversight to ensure medicinal cannabis products are prescribed and dispensed in a safe manner.
Mr Dick also stated a recent approval by the state government for the prescription and use of medical marijuana saw the first medicinal cannabis oil capsules administered to a Queensland patient, with the blessing of Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
“This is an Australian first. The granting of this approval represents the first, legal, medically-supervised application of medicinal cannabis in this country,” he said; stressing it involved a specific patient and does not represent a blanket approval for use of the medication in Queensland.
The full text of the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 can be viewed here (PDF)
The news of the legislation being introduced to Parliament comes just a day after a 4-year old Queensland child who was administered cannabis oil lost her battle with cancer; passing away in her sleep on Monday according to her father.
The father reported the cannabis oil helped calm his daughter and stimulated her appetite. Unfortunately, he was also prosecuted for his efforts in attempting to help his child.