Should cannabis oil be legalised?

The legalisation of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions is back on the agenda, with a Coalition MP taking it to federal parliament and Victoria looking to legalise its use as soon as the state election is over in November.

Queensland MP, Warren Entsch, is drafting a bill to allow for legal trials of cannabis oil legal for treating patients with cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis – all conditions which have responded well to cannabis oil treatment in other countries. He hopes the bill will receive the backing of other MPs, but his Coalition colleague, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, isn’t jumping on the bandwagon immediately. “We would need to be very careful, very assured, that we’re not going to see any more widespread use of marijuana and cannabis than there is at the present time,” the social services minister said.

Victorian Labor leader David Andrews is going one step further, by removing the legal barriers for people hoping to use cannabis oil to treat conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease. If elected during the state election in November, Mr Andrews seek advice from the Victorian Law Reform Commission on the prescription, manufacture and distribution of medical cannabis for those in exceptional circumstances, but will not move to legalise cannabis for recreation purposes.

“In some cases, parents are forced to choose between breaking the law and watching their child suffer,” Mr Andrews said. “Children are in pain, families are suffering, people are living in fear, and out-dated laws are getting in the way.”

Do you think that any treatment for painful and debilitating diseases should be accessible? Or do you think that the risk of cannabis oil being used for recreational purposes is a real concern?

Written by Debbie McTaggart