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Bill to make medicinal cannabis access easier for terminally-ill Australians passes Senate

MEDICAL cannabis could soon be easier to get for terminally-ill Australians after passing a first hurdle in Parliament today. MEDICAL cannabis could soon be easier to get for terminally-ill Australians after passing a first hurdle in Parliament today. A bid by the Australian Greens to give terminally-ill patients quicker, easier access to doctor-prescribed medicinal cannabis, by allowing access under the Therapeutic Goods Administration category A list, passed the upper house today. It will now go before the lower house, where the government controls the numbers. During debate today, Liberal Democrats senator Senator Leyonhjelm said the Turnbull Government had “blood on its hands” for not making access easier. “They are responsible for terrible unnecessary suffering and very likely a number of premature deaths,” he said.

Indoor nursery for the cultivation of medical marijuana, complete with specially designed lighting and HVAC systems. Photo: istockSource:istock Patients can already get the drug under category B, but senator Leyonhjelm said the bureaucratic process made access too slow. “The government and its Health Department officials have blood on their hands,” he said. Greens leader Richard Di Natale, who proposed the bill, urged government MPs to cross the floor in the lower house to pass the changes. “It is simple cruelty from this government,” he said. “These patients are dying and their doctors believe medicinal cannabis may alleviate their suffering, but the government is stopping them from getting it.”

Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm is pushing for recreational use to be made legal as well. Picture: John AppleyardSource:News Corp Australia

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called on the government to support the bill. Picture: AAPSource:AAP But Liberal senator Dean Smith dismissed concerns about wait times, saying the approval process could take a day. “The Australian community should trust the advice of the government, which is informed by specialist medical practitioners,” Senator Smith said. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called on the government to stop making criminals of caring mums and dads by allowing access to the “miracle drug”. Independent senator Derryn Hinch said the government’s position was a disgrace. “I don’t give a damn that they are thwarting the will of the Senate, they are thwarting the will and the rights of sick people in Australia,” Senator Hinch said. In June, the Senate voted to scrap rules which made it harder for dying patients to access medical cannabis, prompting the government to tell importers to ignore the decision. Originally published here:

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