7 Feb 2017

Govt to ease medical cannabis laws?

8:05 pm on 7 February 2017

The government is considering making it easier for people to access medicinal cannabis.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says he will make an announcement tomorrow, but will not comment ahead of it.

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Photo: 123RF

Cannabis-based products are Class B1 controlled drugs. Ministerial approval is required before they can be prescribed, supplied or administered.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said that process was too bureaucratic.

"It's a pretty wide-ranging issue. There's a process which [associate Health Minister] Peter Dunne is looking at in terms of making it easier for people to access cannabis-based medicines, so at the moment they need to be signed off in this case by the associate Minister of Health.

"The question is whether we could make that process a lot less bureaucratic and give people quicker access in cases where they do need that access."

Dr Coleman said the real question was whether the drug needed to be signed off by a minister, and the answer was that it probably did not.

"So it might be specialist access, that's probably more likely than a GP signing it off."

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