Australia's move to legalise medicinal cannabis
NEXT month Australia will join 25 America states in legalising medicinal cannabis.
Under the new federal scheme, patients with a valid prescription will be able to possess and use medicinal cannabis products manufactured from cannabis legally cultivated in Australia, provided the supply has been authorised under the Therapeutic Goods Act and relevant state and territory legislation.
The changes put medical cannabis cultivation and use in the same category as restricted medicinal drugs such as morphine.
Recreation cannabis cultivation and use will remain illegal with state-based criminal laws still in place
Victoria led the way, as the first state in Australia to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis, while New South Wales was the first state to have been given approved under license from the Federal Government as part of research into the best way to cultivate the plant.
The federal decision has been hailed by Federal Health Minister Susan Ley as providing the missing link in the journey of health treatment.
America has also been slowly but surely changing its legislation on use of recreation cannabis.
Four states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana for recreational use.
In Alaska, adults 21 and older can now transport, buy or possess up to an ounce of marijuana and six plants. Colorado and Washington previously passed similar ballot measures legalising marijuana in 2012.
Louisiana lawmakers amended the state's existing medical marijuana law, permitting doctors to recommend rather than prescribe medical marijuana, which runs counter to federal law. The law also expanded the list of eligible conditions for cannabis treatment.
A number of states have also decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
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