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Federal push for medicinal marijuana

A group of federal politicians say national uniform legislation is needed so that states can amend their own laws and allow access to medicinal marijuana.

A woman whose son lost his battle with cancer earlier this year has pleaded for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to support laws to create a national framework that would pave the way for terminally ill patients and others to access medicinal marijuana.

Lucy Haslam, who has long been at the forefront of a campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis, on Monday joined a cross-party group of senators and MPs in Canberra to push for laws that would have provided her son Daniel relief from the debilitating nausea he had been suffering as a result of chemotherapy.

The Regulator of Medicinal Cannabis bill, which is expected to be put to a vote in the Senate in November, is needed so that states and territories can amend their own laws in order for patients, including those with terminal illness and other conditions such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, to legally access the drug.

Mrs Haslam, who has already won the support of NSW Premier Mike Baird, on Monday morning met with representatives of Health Minister Sussan Ley, telling them action was urgently needed.

"My plea to her at the moment and to the new prime minister is to please don't waste anymore time to make this happen," she said.

"I can assure you there are many thousands of people that are watching with incredible interest the putting forward of this bill and there will be a lot of very disappointed people if we don't see something happen in the near future."

Liberal senator Ian Macdonald, who chaired the committee which examined the bill, said it had the backing of Mr Turnbull and Ms Ley.

"I know that speaking with the minister that the minister, and indeed the prime minister, are totally supportive of the concept."

He said, however, that the Department of Health had some concerns about some "technical matters" and that there were issues to be worked through such as international treaty obligations in relation to the importation and use of drugs.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said there was no reason why patients could not have access to the drug by next year.

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