South Africa took a giant leap forward towards regulated medicinal marijuana use, a process that was prompted two years ago by the Medical Innovation Bill (MIB).
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Health announces – medical marijuana soon on the cards for South Africans.
All Africa reports on the Department of Health that will soon regulate access to medicinal marijuana for prescribed health conditions, in fact, as soon as April 2017. This decision follows a two-year process of deliberations, investigation and research. Or as some say, it follows the worldwide trend set by the US.
This announcement is seen as a victory for the late Dr. Mario Oriani-Ambrosini MP, who introduced the Medical Innovation Bill in the midst of his own fight with terminal cancer.
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip in Parliament, Mr Narend Singh MP, reintroduced the MIB after the death of Oriani-Ambrosini in 2014 to ensure this vital issue stays on the table.
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Conditions considered are HIV/AIDS, severe chronic pain, severe muscle spasms, vomiting or wasting because of cancer, and severe seizures in patients with epilepsy where other treatment options have failed or have intolerable side effects.
Mr. Singh commended the decision by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) and the Department of Health in Committee saying, “This heralds a great step forward for public access and research into the use of medicinal marijuana. I feel a great sense of relief”. He further thanked the Department for taking up this issue with such compassionate concern for people. He said what matters most now is that access to medicinal marijuana is not restricted to the rich, but that anyone who needs it will be able to afford it, and get it.
Across the political spectrum all agree
He was inspired by the sense of unity in the Committee as he said he saw MPs across the political spectrum all agreeing on the common good that concerns all South Africans. He said the introduction of the Bill in 2014 resulted in a regulatory framework for access to medicinal cannabis, and he is looking forward to see it implemented.
With the MCC admitting the medicinal properties of cannabis, a whole world of research opens up, and perhaps South Africa can yet again position itself at the top of the world’s medical research stage. As the third largest cannabis producer in the world, and years of growing some of the best marijuana in the world, there should be some good samples lying around somewhere to get scientists going, and keep them busy for the next couple of decades.
‘Fields Of Green For All’
A non-profit organization, ‘Fields Of Green For All’, has appointed themselves as the watchdogs and whistle blowers on any attempt to control the South African cannabis market. Therefore the name of the organization, to remind them daily that they are challenging ancient prohibition laws to benefit ALL South Africans.
Julian Stobbs, director of social activism for Fields of Green for All says they have an awful lot of work to do to make sure the legalization of cannabis, for whatever reason in South Africa, benefits ALL citizens, not just the government, or a select few seriously ill patients who can afford scientifically grown cannabinoid medication.
He concludes: “We’re now taking bets on how much a successful license to grow will cost”.
Primary source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201611240545.html#comments