While many people know that 23 states have made medical marijuana legal, the United States is far the only country working toward allowing medicinal marijuana use. In Australia, the movement toward medical marijuana legalization continues to gain momentum — and legislation regarding this medicine may be coming sooner than you think.
According to a January 5 Guardian article, the medical marijuana issue is a top priority at the start of the new parliamentary year, with a bill already having been introduced that would set up a system of regulations for administering the medicine to Australians.
Just how soon will Australia be allowing its residents to treat their health conditions with medical marijuana? That answer isn’t quite clear yet — but it’s expected that a vote could be made as early as February. In the meantime, here are the top three signs that point to likely medical marijuana legalization in Australia:
The medical marijuana bill has support from multiple parties
The bill currently making its rounds in Australia’s parliament is co-sponsored by a member of the Green party and a member of the Labor party. According to the Guardian, the issue has received strong support from across the political spectrum, and is one of the few issues that has brought the country’s various parties together in agreement.
Clinical trials are already under way
Trials observing the effects of medical marijuana on various illnesses and health conditions are currently taking place in New South Wales, according to the Guardian. The $9 million trials will observe patients with cancer, childhood epilepsy and other illnesses who use medical marijuana to treat their illnesses. The outcome of these trials will likely play a major role in parliament’s decision to approve a medical marijuana bill.
The legislation is backed by Australia’s doctors
According to the Guardian, the Australian Medical Association is pushing parliament to pass a bill that would allow Australians with eligible illnesses to be treated with medical marijuana. Stephen Parnis, the AMA’s vice president, said lawmakers “need to make this an urgent issue.”
What are your thoughts about potential legislation for medicinal marijuana in Australia? Share what’s on your mind by leaving a comment below!