Pubdate: Thu, 25 Feb 2016
Source: Chronicle, The  (Australia)
Copyright: 2016 Toowoomba Newspapers Pty Ltd


THE establishment of a national regulator to supervise and allow 
Australian farmers to grow medicinal cannabis has passed the Senate, 
but hurdles remain to making the drug legal for medical purposes.

The Turnbull government bill was passed in the Senate yesterday, with 
bipartisan support, to allow patients to access medicinal cannabis 
products produced and grown in Australia.

Health Minister Sussan Ley described the new laws as the "missing 
piece" for patients, but Greens leader Richard Di Natale said there 
was still work to be done.

Sen Di Natale said cannabis was still listed as a Schedule 9 drug, 
meaning it was still illegal for doctors to obtain or prescribe it to patients.

But Ms Ley said the government was working to list it as a Schedule 8 
drug, putting it in the same category as morphine rather than an 
outright illegal drug.

Ms Ley (pictured) also confirmed a new independent advisory committee 
would guide reforms to follow the laws and put the new system in place.
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