Patients suffering from a range of conditions will soon be able to obtain medicinal cannabis treatment prescribed by a medical practitioner or specialist doctor, under new legislation which passed through Parliament today.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson spoke in Parliament today in support of the establishment of a regulatory framework to control who can prescribe, dispense and possess medicinal cannabis products.
Ms Simpson said that medicinal cannabis is a dangerous drug which must not be used improperly or without close medical supervision and stressed that the Bill in no way allows for people to grow their own cannabis, even for therapeutic purposes.
“I do not support the decriminalisation of cannabis use or for people to be able to grow their own cannabis as it is potentially harmful,” Ms Simpson said.
“The use of cannabis obtained illicitly from a criminal supplier or home-grown is dangerous due to the lack of certainly about the concentrations of active ingredients or any contaminants which plant products may have been exposed to.
“For this reason, I believe the use of medicinal cannabis must be carefully and properly regulated.”
Ms Simpson said that the Bill was supported by organisations such as Epilepsy Queensland, MS Australia and MS Research Australia, the Cancer Council Queensland, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Queensland Nurses’ Union and the Australian medical Association Queensland.
She said that patients would only be able to obtain medicinal cannabis treatment through a prescription from a medical practitioner, with case-by-case approval from the chief executive of Queensland Health, or from a specialist doctor, such as an Oncologist, who has an as-of-right authority to prescribe specific medicinal cannabis products for patients suffering a specific range of conditions.
“Careful consideration on the appropriateness and safety of treatment will be based on medical evidence about the patient’s conditions and symptoms, the opinion of a specialist medical practitioner and other factors such as the patient’s history of drug dependence,” Ms Simpson said.
“The framework will ensure appropriate powers are available to prevent misuse and the risk of medicinal cannabis being dispensed, supplied or issued to a person not authorised under the Bill.
“The Bill would be reviewed after two years of operation to ensure it meets the needs of patients, health service providers and enforcement agencies, and complements related developments in this rapidly-evolving space, particularly with regards to the proposed domestic cultivation, production and manufacture of medicinal cannabis.”
Click here to watch my speech in Parliament: