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Australia - Bill To Remove Barriers For Medical Marijuana Trials In Victoria

The General

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A bill to make it easier to conduct clinical trials of medical marijuana will be introduced to parliament on Tuesday, Victorian Health Minister David Davis says. Mr Davis said the government will seek to remove a legislative barrier from the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act. "It will mean it will be easier to undertake those trials, thereby enabling people to access those trials but also for researchers to have the result from those trial processes," Mr Davis said. Currently, researchers have to obtain a permit for each individual participating in a trial and the proposed bill allows researchers to apply for one permit for the whole group.

Mr Davis said the proposal was the "first step" in a number of changes he announced late last month. He gave "in principle" support for Victorians to part of an international trial of Epidiolex, a cannabis-based pharmaceutical being tested in children with epilepsy overseas. Mr Davis said he would also consider removing a prohibition on the growing of cannabis plants for therapeutic purposes in approved clinical trials.

Cannabis pharmaceutical Savitex is already being used to treat multiple sclerosis symptoms. Cancer patients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital have also been receiving it in a trial for the last two years to see if it eases pain. "There's nothing to stop properly approved and properly tested pharmaceuticals being prescribed now," Mr Davis said. "This (the proposed bill) preserves that, but facilitates sensible trials."

Leading psychiatrist Pat McGorry and Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation President Alex Wodak last month questioned what would actually change if the legislation was passed when the Coalition government made its announcement. "My perception is that it should be possible already, especially if it's synthetic," Professor McGorry said. "It sounds good," Dr Wodak said.

"But if you look at the small print, it's really nothing. This might benefit 10 people in Victoria in five years' time." Also on Monday, West Australian Health Minister Kim Hames said he was supportive of a move to legalise medicinal marijuana in a turn-around from two months when Dr Hames said legalising the drug would send the wrong message to the community. Dr Hames said he had written to the Federal Health Minister in support of a trial initiated or supported by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, WA Today reported.


News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Theage.com.au
Author: Tammy Mills
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Bill to remove barriers for medical marijuana trials in Victoria
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