Landry to support changes to allow medicinal cannabis crops
CAPRICORNIA MP Michelle Landry will put her full support behind changing the law to pave the way for the legal cultivation of cannabis for medical products.
Emerging from a meeting in Parliament House in Canberra today, Ms Landry said she would back a Coalition bill to amend the Narcotics Drug Act to allow patients access to legally manufactured cannabis therapeutic products.
"This bill will be a big step forward for people suffering serious illness as it will allow professional farmers to cultivate cannabis that will be used to make products for medicinal use in Australia," Ms Landry said.
"Children with epilepsy, people with cancer and other major painful conditions would be able to access such products most likely by prescription."
Ms Landry said she had received feedback from a lot of people around Capricornia that access to legal cannabis-based products for medicinal use would change their lives.
But she warned cannabis would be farmed by responsible growers licenced to cultivate the crops under strict conditions.
"People should not think this is an open door for them to grow 'pot' in their backyard, claiming it to be for medicinal use. The quantity and strains of medicinal cannabis that could be cultivated will be strictly controlled and regulated under a permit and licencing system with professional farmers," Ms Landry said.
"Growers would have to be deemed responsible people and fit for acquiring such a permit."
The amendment would create a national law for the entire country, taking away confusion among various state jurisdictions.
Ms Landry said it was not the intention for patients to smoke cannabis, but to use cannabis-based products such as sprays, skin applications and oils.
"This is exciting for both patients who can benefit from legal cannabis medicines and for the agricultural industry which has a unique opportunity to tap into new crop and potentially lucrative market," Ms Landry said.
"The Federal Government intends that in the future Australia may be able to export such cannabis products overseas - adding value to a fledgling industry."
The amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act are expected to come before parliament in the next few weeks.