Australia seems to be the latest addition to the list of countries legalizing marijuana for medical purposes (distribution and cultivation). On February 24, 2016, Australia legalized medicinal marijuana at the federal level. It seems that more and more countries start realizing the benefits of marijuana and decide to take further steps in order to improve the quality of health of their citizens. Although legislation of marijuana was announced in Australia (to the joy of the Australians and whole marijuana industry), we are probably still far from some real use and distribution.
What has happened is that the Australian parliament made some amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act so that the growing of cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes can be legal.
Australia has a big tradition on cannabis cultivation not only for commercial uses but also medical purposes was already widespread during the nineteenth century. Until Australia changed their law according to the 1925 Geneva Convention on Opium and Other Drugs, cannabis was used for asthma, bronchitis, and hay-fever. As a result, the prohibition stopped any relevant research related to medical cannabis use in Australia. But after many years things start slowly to change, and the recent legal reform seems like a good starting point. Of course it is still very early to think that now you can add cannabis freedom along with the other advantages of Australia – sunshine, barbecue and surfing. The Australians have to wait until they can grow their own sensi seeds.
Although “Narcotic Drug Amendment 2016″ legalizes medical marijuana, this does not simplify the whole legal cannabis case. They are still going to be far from distribution and usage, and even more far from the actual legalization of other weed forms.
But still it is a good start that will bring some more money. As the University of Sydney Business School suggests, this new law could mean that an amount of approximately $100 million can be earned for Australia in its first year. Moreover, new job places are going to be opened (from production to distribution), and researchers are going to have better opportunity to take a closer look at marijuana’s health benefits, and study them more thoroughly. Also, big part of Australian economy relies on their great export properties, so we should expect no less from the cannabis industry. Maybe soon we could be holding the finest strains, which came to us from the other side of the planet.
Over the next 6-8 months, every single aspect from medical marijuana is going to be monitored – from production to the license requirements. Benefits from this are huge. Medical marijuana users (patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, etc.) can finally be free to take their treatments, and Australia’s economy is going to benefit together with all those people.
The experiment may still hide some potential practical difficulties as the definitions of what is considered medical and what recreational use of Cannabis can often be not very clear.
Theon cannabis distribution and growing are still very strict and the Australian lawmakers do their best to find a balance so they stay within current UN regulations. Although federal government stated that marijuana is going to be “controlled drug,” individual states can still classify it as restricted, and as a result, things can become even more complicated. Additionally, as it is still uncertain how the licensing system will be and how the legislation processes are going to look like, practical/bureaucratic issues may arise and it might be difficult for people in need of medical marijuana to find their way to their medicine.
Anyway, this is a great thing, not only for the cannabis culture and industry, but for the whole world as well. On one side, we have Australians who are going to enjoy the medical marijuana health benefits without any negative legal repercussions, and on the other side, we have huge export potential that could mean a lot of good things for many countries all around the world.