Medicinal marijuana will be legalised nationally as of November, thanks to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s decision to reschedule appropriate cannabis products as medicine. 

We repeat: Australia‘s governing drug body has finally rubber-stamped the cultivation, manufacture, import and prescription of medicinal weed products, thereby removing one of the largest obstacles between patients and their treatment.

In a report handed down yesterday, the TGA announced medicinal cannabis products will be removed from the list of Schedule 9 products – prohibited substances – and will be placed in Schedule 8 – controlled drugs.

That’s an absolutely seismic shift in Aussie drug policy. Srs. Huge.

This year, both VIC and NSW announced legal workarounds allowing doctors to subscribe treatments (read: medicinal cannabis) that are absent from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Now that medicinal cannabis products will be scheduled appropriately, doctors should have a much easier time ensuring they can provide adequate treatment for patients in their care. 

The TGA quotes advice from the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling in its final decision, saying “there is moderate-quality evidence to support use of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain and spasticity.”
It also states there is some “evidence of benefit in chemotherapy-related nausea, vomiting, weight gain in HIV, sleep disorders and Tourette syndrome.”
This is the latest in a string of developments in Australia regarding the legality of medicinal cannabis, but it is by no means the last. You can bet there are still a billion administrative hoops for the industry to jump through, but shit, it’s actually happening. 

For the record, recreational use is still a Schedule 9 no-go, but hey. Read the final decision right here. 

Source: Canberra Times / Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Photo: John Greim / Getty.