Government gives go-ahead for medicinal cannabis

The go-ahead has been given by the government for the manufacture of medicinal cannabis.

This has been hailed as a “major victory” by the IFP whose MP, the late Mario Oriani-Ambrosini fought tirelessly for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use.

IFP MP Narend Singh said the Medical Control Council’s working group on cannabis indicated it would publish its proposed guidelines on cannabis production for medicinal use following its presentation to the council last week.

“Thousands of patients are already using cannabis oil, which comes at a premium price, and we wanted it to be made freely accessible so that the patient going to Addington or any other state hospital can request this without the exorbitant costs associated. Patients must have the freedom of choice.”

Ambrosini introduced the Medical Innovation Bill (MIB) in the midst of his own fight with terminal Cancer. Following his death in 2014, Singh reintroduced the MIB to ensure that this issue would stay on the table.

The late IFP MP, Mario Oriani-Ambrosini who faught tirelessly for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.

Ambrosini made a direct, impassioned plea to President Jacob Zuma to decriminalise the use of medicinal cannabis in 2014. He lost his battle with lung cancer six months later.

The current framework allows for the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, but under strict regulations which include requesting permission from the Medical Control Council for use in certain exceptional circumstances by registered medical practitioners. Patients may also only use it under supervision.

This is a victory for every South African unnecessarily suffering because of HIV/AIDS, severe chronic pain, severe muscle spasms, vomiting or wasting arising from cancer, or severe seizures resulting from epileptic conditions where other treatment options have failed or have intolerable side effects.

Watch the video: Man with severe parkinson’s tries marijuana for first time.

The guidelines that will be published will deal with how the drug should be produced for medical use.

Singh warned that the production of cannabis could be monopolised if not handled correctly.

“This heralds a great step forward for public access and research into the use of medicinal cannabis. What matters now is that the Department ensures that access to medicinal cannabis will not be restricted to the rich, but that anyone who needs it will be able to afford it, and get it.”

Other countries that have legalised medicinal cannabis:

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