Medical marijuana in Australia is looking hopeful after the cooperation seen from numerous parties Sunday. Despite bitter disagreements over most other issues, a special Senate committee in Australia urged the passage of legislature that would offer patients access to medicinal cannabis.
Of course, medical marijuana in Australia is not exactly a new concept. This news comes about nine months after New South Wales began their own state-run trial of medical cannabis. The trial is still ongoing and may take much longer before a conclusion is drawn, though new laws passed by the Australian Parliament would supercede any restrictions currently set by provinces.
In other words, the passage of this law would create equal opportunity for medical marijuana throughout Australia. That’s something everyone can get behind, right? Wrong, naturally. The Health Department, Australia’s primary health authority, has released a statement condemning the decision.
So what is the Health Department so worried about, if we all know marijuana can be used for medical purposes with outstanding effect? Turns out health concerns are actually the last thing on their mind.
They’re afraid of paperwork and international pressure. Using the phrase “complexity and uncertainty” for the main barriers to a successful medical marijuana program in Australia, the Health Department cites potential conflict with the Therapeutic Goods Act and challenges in managing the program once established.
Regardless, the bill looks to have strong support and a positive outlook. The committee was comprised of Coalition, Labor and crossbench senators, all of whom were able to put aside their differences to greenlight the concept. That can only mean good things in the near future for medical marijuana in Australia – whether it’s this bill or the next.