An agreement between Victoria, the Commonwealth and other states and territories has paved the way for a nationwide approach to exploring further how cannabis can offer relief to patients suffering from a range of debilitating or terminal illnesses.
Victorian Health Minister David Davis today welcomed the support of the Prime Minister, other Premiers and Chief Ministers for the establishment of a ground-breaking clinical trial of medicinal cannabis.
“We want to better understand how medicinal cannabis can help improve quality of life for seriously ill patients,” Mr Davis said.
“This important agreement allows us to work collaboratively – Victoria is playing a leadership role on this significant issue, but we have a far greater chance of success by partnering with NSW and other jurisdictions.
“My Department is already driving this reform and we welcome the support of the Commonwealth and the states and territories.”
Mr Davis said the issue was raised at the recent COAG Health Council meeting at which the Commonwealth, states and territories agreed to work collaboratively on medicinal cannabis.
“Ministers agreed to work collaboratively to share knowledge and information on issues relating to the use of appropriate therapeutic products derived from cannabis for medicinal purposes,” Mr Davis said.
“We look forward to working with the Commonwealth and the other states and territories to progress reform on medicinal cannabis.”
Mr Davis announced that the Victorian Government has appointed a Department of Health Expert Advisory Committee on Medicinal Cannabis chaired by Professor John McNeil (Head of Department for Epidemiology & Preventative Medicine, Monash University).
“I look forward to working with the Expert Advisory Committee on Medicinal Cannabis. I have been informed they have wasted no time in getting to the task at hand and have already set an agenda for its first meeting scheduled on 21 October 2014.
“This week in parliament the Victorian Coalition Government will also seek to pass the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances (Clinical Trials) Amendment Bill.
“This legislation will help facilitate medicinal cannabis trials, in another step towards the use of marijuana compounds in treating or relieving the symptoms of a range of illnesses and conditions,” Mr Davis said.