Australia set to legalise growing of medicinal cannabis

Sydney (AFP) – Australia Saturday announced plans to legalise the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes, saying those suffering debilitating illnesses deserved access to the most effective treatments.

Research, most recently findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June, showed marijuana has some effectiveness in helping treat chronic pain.

But it also cautioned of a long list of side effects and the issue of whether or not it works remains a matter of debate globally.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the government planned a licensing scheme to allow controlled cultivation and distribution for medicinal and scientific purposes.

She said it would deliver a safe, legal and sustainable supply of locally produced product for the first time.

“Allowing the cultivation of legal medicinal cannabis crops in Australia under strict controls strikes the right balance between patient access, community protection and our international obligations,” she said in a statement.

Ah yes. International drug control treaties. I believe they are in great danger.

If Australia allows human trials it could very well become a leader in cannabis research.

Croatia legalises marijuana for medical use

Medicines containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s main psychoactive ingredient, can now be prescribed by doctors to ease health problems associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and AIDS.

The drugs can be prescribed only for up to 30 days while the overall quantity for the period cannot exceed 7.5 grams, according to the new regulation.

Other marijuana use remains illegal under Croatian law.

The issue came into public focus in the European Union member state a year ago after Huanito Luksetic, a multiple sclerosis patient, was detained for growing cannabis plants in his garden in a village near Rijeka, a northern city on the Adriatic coast.

The 37-year-old, from whom police seized some 20 kilos (44 pounds) of marijuana, said the plants were for his personal use to make cannabis oil, which helped to ease his symptoms.

I think 7.5 grams is a rather small amount compared to 20 kilos. Roughly 2,666 times smaller.

If this goes the way it has gone in the US, full legalization will follow in 5 to 10 years in those places.

According to the BBC these are some of the places where cannabis is decriminalized to varying degrees. ( as of Oct 2014 )

Colombia
Costa Rica
Czech republic
Ecuador
Jamaica
Netherlands
Norway
Peru
Portugal
Romania – medical
Spain
Switzerland
Uruguay
U.S.A. – Many medical States with varying laws – legal to grow and sell for any          purpose in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C.

There are more details at the BBC site.

The maps here are interesting. But there are not many details except for North Korea.