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Australia: Federal push for medicinal marijuana

A group of federal politicians say national uniform legislation is needed so that states can amend their own laws and allow access to medicinal marijuana.

A woman whose son lost his battle with cancer earlier this year has pleaded for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to support laws to create a national framework that would pave the way for terminally ill patients and others to access medicinal marijuana.

Lucy Haslam, who has long been at the forefront of a campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis, on Monday joined a cross-party group of senators and MPs in Canberra to push for laws that would have provided her son Daniel relief from the debilitating nausea he had been suffering as a result of chemotherapy.


Australia: Medicinal cannabis could be legally available by 2016

Medicinal cannabis could be legally grown and prescribed to patients as early as next year under a cross party bill that has attracted initial support from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Greens leader, senator Richard Di Natale, announced on Monday that the bill to create a regulator for medicinal cannabis for certain conditions had been drafted and would be put before the Senate for a vote in November.

While Victoria and NSW state governments had indicated that they wanted to legalise medicinal cannabis, a federal regulatory scheme was required to do this: "We need national laws to make sure we can licence growers 
 that doctors can prescribe this and that the medication gets in the hands of patients who need it."


Helen Kelly says Government needs to get real about medicinal cannabis

Terminally ill Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly is pleading with the Government to improve access to medicinal cannabis, as she confesses she is "a little bit scared" of dying.

Kelly, who has lung cancer, said on Monday she had exhausted all legal pain relief and had resorted to the black market to obtain cannabis oil. But she did not like putting people in an awkward position to help her.

"I've tried [cannabis oil]. I'm not promoting it as a curative, but as a pain relief it's incredibly effective for me and it doesn't make me feel sick, which morphine does."

She took the drug at night to make sure being stoned would not disrupt her day.


Australia: Turnbull 'foolish' to stand in the way of medical marijuana

Evidence of the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis in treating a number of conditions is overwhelming and it should be made available for those conditions immediately, Senator Richard Di Natale says. Photo: supplied

Richard Di Natale​ is forging ahead with his bid to legalise medical marijuana and warns the Turnbull government would be foolish to stand in the way.

The Greens leader will ask the Senate to vote on his bill – co-sponsored by Liberal, Labor and crossbench senators – next month and he's calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to get on board to ensure its success.

Senator Di Natale will personally press Mr Turnbull for his support when the pair meet in Canberra this week.


Canberra cannabis grow house accused deported despite magistrate's warning

An illegal immigrant linked to a large-scale cannabis grow house network operating in Canberra has been deported despite warnings he could never face justice for his alleged involvement. 

Ong Yap, 35, pleaded not guilty to participating in a criminal group in the ACT Magistrates Court earlier this year after police arrested him under Operation Armscote.

He was charged over his alleged role in the extensive hydroponic set-ups that ACT Policing said had netted 1226 plants with an estimated street value of more than $7 million seized from rental properties.

Yap, a Malaysian national, was released on bail in July despite complications that stemmed from the fact that he was in the country illegally and had overstayed his visa by more than a year. 



Victorian pharmacists will play a pivotal role under proposals announced by the Victorian Government to make medicinal cannabis available to some patients under exceptional circumstances from 2017, says the PSA.

Acting National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Michelle Lynch, says that under the new regulations, pharmacists will dispense medicinal cannabis after authorisation is provided by medical specialists.

“Having pharmacists acknowledged as best-placed to dispense medicinal cannabis is welcomed as it ensures that medicines experts are available to advise and counsel patients using these products,” Lynch says.


AU: Victoria moves closer to medicinal cannabis use

Victoria is set to become the first state in Australia to legalise cannabis for medical use.

In a controversial plan, the Andrews government is taking steps to make the drug available for terminally ill people.

While many are welcoming the move, others are deeply sceptical, calling for more research into the long-term effects of medicinal cannabis use.

In a national first, the use of medicinal cannabis could soon be legal in Victoria.

The state government has announced plans to embark on what it says is Australia's first-ever cannabis cultivation trial.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is delivering on an election commitment to make medicinal cannabis available for terminally ill people.


Tasmanian mother using medicinal cannabis to treat daughter's seizures doesn't want part in NSW trial

A Tasmanian mother illegally using medicinal cannabis has ruled out participating in the New South Wales trial of the drug.

The Tasmanian Government is finalising its involvement in the trial and has offered to supply participants from the state.

However, that could prove difficult, with some parents who use the drug to treat their seriously ill children refusing to put them at risk.

Hobart mother Nicole Cowles treats her nine-year-old daughter Alice's life-threatening seizures with cannabis oil, even though it is illegal.

She will not allow her to be part of the trial.


Medicinal marijuana to be legalised in Victoria

Locally-grown medicinal cannabis will be legalised in Victoria, under a controversial State Government move to ease the suffering of people with serious medical conditions.

In an Australian first, the Andrews Government plans to embark on a state-based cannabis cultivation trial, based on the recommendations of a report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

But the move will need the support of the Federal Government, which is a signatory to an international convention on narcotic drugs.


New Zealand Police target online drug sales

Imports of synthetic cannabis have been rising since the Psychoactive Substances Amendment Act took the products off shop shelves last year.

The drug - along with the likes of meth, ecstasy, and Alpha PVP, which is also known as bath salts or flakka - were being found in mailed packages at the country's border.

Customs cargo operations manager Bruce Berry said people try to fly under the radar by going online to order small quantities from overseas.

"What we're seeing is a steady supply of smaller quantities of products in the domain. We're certainly seeing synthetic cannabinoids, we're seeing psychoactive substances, but we're also seeing the mimics there in the same space," he said.


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