Locally-grown medicinal cannabis will be legalised in Victoria, under a State Government move to ease the suffering of people with serious medical conditions. Legislation will be introduced by the end of the year establishing the Office of Medicinal Cannabis, which will oversee research, development and the dispensing of marijuana products.
The move follows a report by the Victorian Law Reform Commission which included 42 recommendations, including how to dispense the drug through pharmacies to patients prescribed treatment by a medical specialist.
Children suffering severe epilepsy will be among the first to be treated using a range of non-smokable marijuana products including oils, sprays and vaporisers and eventually it will be prescribed to people living with MS for pain relief.
Acting CEO at MS Australia, Deidre Mackechnie, said: “People with MS have been waiting for years for a pharmaceutical, legal alternative to cannabis. Medicinal cannabis can provide relief to people suffering from extreme pain and discomfort from severe muscle spasms and stiffness caused by their MS. This will therefore be very welcome news for people living with the condition in Victoria.
“MS Australia and MS Research Australia provided a joint submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s enquiry and we were well represented on several of its working parties and at public hearings. We are therefore very pleased that the Victorian Government has responded in this way and look forward to the Australian Government taking action to ensure medicinal cannabis is available to people living with MS across the nation.”