Although no two Australian States or Territories share the same approach to cannabis, there is a growing call for change to the Commonwealth laws surrounding the medicinal use of cannabis.
The Senate continues to examine a cross party bill, called the Regulator of Medical Cannabis Bill 2014.
As detailed in the explanatory memorandum to the Bill,
This Bill establishes a Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis (the Regulator).
The Regulator will be responsible for formulating rules for licensing the production, manufacture, supply, use, experimental use and import and export of medicinal cannabis.
The Regulator has powers to monitor compliance with this Bill and also to investigate breaches.
The Regulator may approve medicinal cannabis products for inclusion in the register of regulated medicinal cannabis products.
Products included in the register are regulated under this Bill, rather than under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the TGA).
The Legislative Committee has submitted their report into the Bill to The Senate, on the 11th of August, 2015.
You can no longer make an official submission, but you can read through the some of the 212 submissions that have been given, and you can continue to make your voice heard by directly contacting Senators for your electorate, State or Territory.
New South Wales
The most visible part of the NSW approach is the Terminal Illness Cannabis . The thing to appreciate most about this program is that is relies entirely upon the discretion of the Police Officer(s) involved.
"The TICS provides guidelines for NSW police officers to help them determine the appropriate circumstances in which to use their discretion not to charge adults with terminal illness who use cannabis and/or cannabis products to alleviate their symptoms and carers who assist them."
“I’ve seen first-hand how medicinal cannabis can change people’s lives. This landmark reform means Victorian families will no longer have to decide between breaking the law and watching their child suffer.” Premier Daniel Andrews - 6th October 2015
Recent tabling in Parliament of The Victorian Law Reform Report on medicinal cannabis has led to the Victorian Government committing to introduce legislation before the end of 2015 to enable access to locally manufactured medicinal cannabis products for a limited and select group of patients. View the Premier's media release.
Information is now starting to appear regarding medicinal use of cannabis on the Victorian Dept of Health.
On 19 April 2015, the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queensland will partner with New South Wales (NSW) in trials of medicinal cannabis. It is anticipated the trial will begin in 2016.
In a letter tabled in the Queensland Parliament on October 15, 2015, it was announced that Queensland was partnering on a trial that was expected to begin in 2016, at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, which coincidentally was the same hospital where a parent was arrested for administering cannabis oil to his sick child.