Marijuana is commonly used for medicinal purposes on Tasmania, the island state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Last week, an interim parliamentary report recommended that the use of medical marijuana be decriminalized immediately. Today, that request has already been rejected by parliament.
A government committee, lead by chairwoman Ruth Forrest, had been investigating medical marijuana use in the state since July so that an accurate report could be presented to parliament. Over the course of three days, twenty-three different testimonies were heard on the matter from current users and field experts. Seventy-seven patient submissions were also received by the committee during this time. The committee concluded that current laws no longer agree with what the people believe. The people want to at least decriminalize the medicinal use of cannabis.
The committee’s recommendation for immediate, compassionate, action was submitted just one week ago. The committee found that marijuana was used widely throughout the island to control epilepsy and other conditions as well as to treat pain and nausea. The report recommends decriminalizing the use of medical marijuana so that those using the plant medicinally do not not add possible prosecution their suffering. The report also recommended establishing legislative action to legalize a personal cultivation and caregiver program for the island state.
The government has decided not to move forward with immediate legislative action as recommended by the committee. Michael Ferguson, the state’s health minister, stated that legislation will not be updated at this time. However, parliament did agree to look into the matter. The investigative committee intends to continue building a case through hearing and recording testimony from patients and medical experts.
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