Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale today cautiously welcomed the government's bill to establish a national licensing scheme for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis but warned that it still falls short of delivering for patients.
"The Health Minister has labelled its medicinal cannabis legislation the ‘missing piece' when it is really just the first piece of the puzzle," said Senator Di Natale.
"This bill does nothing to change the fact that cannabis is scheduled as an illegal drug that cannot be prescribed by a doctor. "Creating a national framework for cultivation and manufacture is an important step but the final test for any reform is whether it will get this medicine in the hands of everyone who needs it.
"The Federal Government needs to actively engage with the TGA, state governments, and with doctors and pharmacists to make sure that we overcome the many barriers that still stand between patients and the medicine they need.
"I will be probing for more details about the regulatory framework in Senate Estimates today because the government's announcement is very light on detail. "I'm very proud to lead a party that had the vision and courage to champion this issue for years, well before it was popular. Thanks to the tireless campaigning of people like Lucy Haslam this issue has come a long way in the past two years but there is still a long way to go."