Medical marijuana advocates call on MPs to let it grow

MEDICAL marijuana advocates have called on the Queensland Government to extend proposed laws to let approved patients grow the drug at home.

Speaking at the Parliamentary Health Committee public hearing into legalising medical marijuana Medical Cannabis Advisory Group Queensland co-founder Grace Sands said letting patients grow the drug at home would save "the state a hell of a lot of money".

The government is looking to allow patients with certain conditions greater access to the drug - but under regulated conditions.

MCAGQ member Lanai Carter said her son was diagnosed with epilepsy and brain tumours. She said he found anti-epilepsy drugs were not effective and they travelled to the United States where her son was prescribed medical marijuana.

She said in a year on the drugs he had only two major seizures - both when he was unable to keep food and his medicine down.

"It's unjust and it's unfair watching my child suffer because he needs access to this medicine," she said.

"It's just crazy to think we could get on a plane and go to the US and get authorisation tomorrow to get the medicine he needs."

The proposed laws would not allow patients to grow their own marijuana.

In introducing the bill to parliament Health Minister Cameron Dick said the drug must be properly regulated.

"The bill does not authorise people to grow their own cannabis, even if intended for their own therapeutic use, nor does it authorise any recreational use of cannabis," he said.

"When obtained illicitly, whether from a criminal supplier or grown in the back garden, patients have little certainty about the concentrations of active ingredients in the products they are consuming or knowledge about the contaminants to which plant products may have been exposed. For this reason, the use of medicinal cannabis must be regulated properly," he said.

The committee is required to report on the bill by September 30.

- ARM NEWSDESK


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