Best Parts of Australia
Medical marijuana is now legal across an entire continent.
The Australian Parliament on Wednesday passed the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill 2016 that effectively legalizes the medicinal use and cultivation of marijuana, CNN reports.
“This is an historic day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products so genuine patients are no longer treated as criminals, ” Minister for Health Sussan Ley said in a statement.
While there are many arguments why the decision to legalize medical marijuana is a step in the right direction, here are the five best reasons to legalize medical marijuana in Australia.
— Because it’s medicine: Australia’s decision comes exactly one year after 20-year-old Daniel Haslam lost his battle to bowel cancer after using medical cannabis to alleviate his pain and suffering. Australian Sen. Richard Di Natale acknowledged Haslam before Parliament on Wednesday.
“It is incredibly fitting that today we are passing this bill which is one step towards making medicinal cannabis accessible to people like Dan, ” Di Natale said.
— Funding scientific research: Australia’s new law also reclassifies its status as an illegal drug alongside heroin and meth. Downscheduling marijuana to a “controlled drug” allows the government to finally allocate money to the scientific research of cannabis.
— Thinking of the children: Now, children who suffer conditions treatable by cannabis can actually access the medicine they need. During the Parliamentary session, Tasmania Labor Senator Anne Urquhart became visibly emotional while talking about a mother’s struggle to obtain treatment for her daughter April’s multiple seizures.
“April suffers from Dravet syndrome that causes her more than 1, 000 seizures a day, ” the senator explained. “At their wits end, Jessie and her partner Paul turned to cannabis oil in an attempt to contain April’s attacks.”
— Dispels the “Stoner Sloth” ads: Australia’s new medical marijuana law is a direct slap in the face to the country’s “Stoner Sloth” anti-marijuana ad campaign that backfired severely by re-enforcing tired stoner stereotypes.
— A healthier alternative to beer: Australia has earned a reputation as a heavy-drinking nation. While marijuana still isn’t legal for recreational use, the new law paves the way for a safer alternative to alcohol in the near future. How much safer? Roughly 114 times more.