Australian lawmakers are anticipated to approve landmark legislation in the coming months allowing for the production and use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
The legislation, which is backed by Australia’s Prime Minister, Health Minister, and leading political parties, amends national drug laws to permit for the licensed cultivation and distribution of medicinal cannabis.
The move by Parliament follows recent efforts by several Australian territories to provide patients participating in clinical trials with access to the plant.
“This government understands that there are some Australians suffering from severe conditions for which cannabis may have applications,” Health Minister Sussan Ley told Parliament this week. “[W]e want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available.”
She added, “Allowing controlled cultivation locally will provide the critical missing piece for a sustainable legal supply of safe medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients in the future.”
To date, only Canada, Israel, and the Netherlands federally license private growers to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients. Colombia, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico are also expected to begin licensing medical marijuana manufacturing in the near future.
In 2013, Uruguay officials approved legislation authorizing the retail production and sale of cannabis to those age 18 and older. Consumers in that country are anticipated to be able to begin purchasing cannabis at state-licensed pharmacies by mid-2016.
Over the last year or so I’ve read about and on occasion met with the newly minted ‘cannabis CEOs’ in America (men and women who’re at the vanguard of creating a sustainable cannabis industry in America post prohibition). Most of them talk in couched terms regarding what they ‘hope’ to see happen with a legal cannabis market in the US or issue over-the-top and breathless press releases that seek to attract investor attention.
However, Vice Magazine has produced a very fascinating and revealing short documentary featuring a real life cannabis industry CEO who walks the walk when it comes to not only taking substantive legal chances to further his businesses, but one who lives his life as-a-always-interested-stakeholder in the future of humans being able to access high quality cannabis products.
Having met Amsterdam’s Arjan Roskom of the famed Green House coffeeshops and seed company on a number of occasions previously, I was hardly surprised when Vice contacted me to review their documentary that Arjan was featured and had provided them an insider’s view of what it is like to be a genuine cannabis industry maverick.
The Vice documentary focuses on Arjan and his lead cultivator traveling to the deep jungles of Colombia to re-locate three famed sativa strains of cannabis historically cultivated in this region of South America.
Cannabis kudos to Vice and Arjan!
The producers of an important and well-received film documentary have contacted NORML asking for help to make as many free viewings of Breaking The Taboo as possible before the film goes into traditional theater distribution. Of the many documentaries in NORML’s forty two year-old archives, this SunDog Pictures produced film is a real stand out for it’s scope and breadth.
The film, narrated by actor Morgan Freeman, has received a terrific amount of publicity buzz regarding the subject matter (ending the war on some drugs…) as well for three of the key people interviewed in the documentary: former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and current president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos.
All three men went on the record acknowledging the failures of the current policies and favor substantive reforms, notably Mr. Carter, who favors cannabis legalization.
This outstanding one hour documentary has already been viewed by nearly 470,000 concerned citizens from around the world.
The pressure continues to mount, from round the world, for America to rescind its Reefer Madness policies with three former presidents from Brazil, Mexico and Colombia now urging President Barack Obama to formally decriminalize cannabis!
Cardoso, Gaviria, Zedillo Urge Obama to Decriminalize Marijuana
By Joshua Goodman (email@example.com)
Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) — Former presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Colombia said the U.S.-led war on drugs has failed and urged President Barack Obama to consider new policies, including decriminalizing marijuana, and to treat drug use as a public health problem.
The recommendations by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, along with Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, were made in a report today by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.
Among the group’s proposals ahead of a special United Nations ministerial meeting in Vienna to evaluate global drug policy is a call to decriminalize the possession of cannabis for personal use.
“We need to break the taboo that’s blocking an honest debate,” Cardoso said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro to present the report. “Numerous scientific studies show that the damage caused by marijuana is similar to that of alcohol or tobacco.” (more…)