November 4, 2016

AUSTRALIA: Western Australia's State Government Legalizes Medicinal Cannabis As Controlled Prescription Drug

Xinhuanet News, China
written by Staff
Friday October 28, 2016

SYDNEY -- Western Australia's (WA) state government has legalized the consumption of medicinal cannabis, also known as medical marijuana as a controlled prescription drug come November 1.

WA state health, culture and the arts minister John Day in a statement on Friday said a new commonwealth legislation on medicinal cannabis will soon allow it to be used as a treatment within the state with strict rules governing its prescription.

The changes he said will not legalize the recreational use of cannabis, which will still remain prohibited in the state.

"Like all controlled drugs, medicinal cannabis will be prescription only, with strict rules around prescribing," Day said in a statement on Friday.

"Only a pharmacist will be able to dispense medicinal cannabis, with supply from any other means remaining illegal in Western Australia," he said.

Day said the state government processes will ensure that medicinal cannabis remains as a treatment option only and not something that can be turned into something sinister.

"The focus for the Western Australian Government will be on the safety, efficacy and quality," he said.

"It is important consumers remain protected from illegal, poorly made or harmful products."

"Raw cannabis and the smoking of cannabis will not qualify as medicinal cannabis," Day explained further.

Day said any WA doctors wishing to prescribe medicinal cannabis would need approval from the "Therapeutic Goods Administration", a Canberra-based authority responsible for regulating medicines, medical devices, blood and tissues and as well as an expert advisory committee set up by the state's health department.

He also said although growers and manufacturers can apply for a permit to grow the plant from November 1 onwards, medicinal cannabis products will only be available for patient use in WA until early 2017.

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