Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes came a step closer to legislation in Australia, as ministers announced planned changes in legislature.
Health Minister Sussan Ley said in a statement Saturday that the parliament will debate a revision to the current law to provide for alternative treatment for those with debilitating illnesses, VICE News reports.
The announcement follows the move by the state of Victoria to create a legal framework around medical cannabis, and statewide sales are set to begin before 2017. Access will be given to children suffering severe epilepsy.
"This government is incredibly sympathetic to the suffering of those Australians with debilitating illnesses, and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available," Ley said.
Victoria will become the first Australian state to allow the manufacture and sale of products containing THC - though the state of South Australia opened the way in 1987 by decriminalizing low-level marijuana offenses.
The amendments to the Narcotics Drugs Act would permit marijuana to be grown without violating Australia’s international obligations to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
Recreational cannabis use will remain illegal.
"Allowing the cultivation of legal medicinal cannabis crops in Australia under strict controls strikes the right balance between patient access, community protection, and our international obligations," Ley said.
Meanwhile, the Mexican Supreme Court could legalize the consumption and production of marijuana for recreational later this month if it decides that parts of a federal law forbidding its production and consumption are unconstitutional.