MEDICINAL CANNABIS: Easier access for Qld as Bill is passed
A BILL has been passed in Parliament making it easier for seriously ill people in Queensland to access medicinal cannabis.
The Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was passed last night, which aimed to streamline the regulatory framework for prescribing medicinal cannabis in Queensland, making it easier for patients to obtain a prescription.
Originally classified as a schedule 9 prohibited substance, medicinal cannabis was in the same category as heroin, LSD and MDMA.
Now, medicinal cannabis will be in the schedule 8 bracket, which lists medicines prescribed for therapeutic use under strict control, such as morphine, ketamine and cocaine.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the amendment removes the need for state-level approval, ensuring patients have access sooner.
"Now that the treatment has progressed, it makes sense for a nationally consistent approach and for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to take carriage of the prescription process," Mr Miles said.
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said he had been vocal in his support for the Bill, and spoke out on the repeal for the Public Health Act 2016 yesterday.
"This repeal brings good news for doctors, pharmacists, researchers and importantly, patients in need of choice and better access," he said.
"It means those who are suffering from debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-included nausea and vomiting, and some types of epilepsy with severe seizures can now more easily access the treatment they need when conventional methods have failed them."
The passing of the Bill also means individuals who falsely refer to themselves as registered health practitioners - those who can prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients - face a maximum penalty of $60,000 for the offence, double the previous value.