Chronic pain sufferers in Queensland will now be able to access medical marijuana thanks to new legislation that recently passed in the state.
According to Queensland Health, any registered medical practitioner “can prescribe medicinal cannabis for any patient with any condition, if they believe it is clinically appropriate and have obtained the required Commonwealth approval.”
This means GPs can now prescribe the medicinal drug for those who are eligible. Before this legislation was finalised, accessing medicinal cannabis was a lengthy process.
Previously, prescriptions could only be handed out by specialist doctors, who had to apply to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for each script, as reported by Men’s Health. Waiting for approval could also take up to 10 days, making it a long wait for those in pain.
Despite this change in legislation, Queenslanders won’t be able to just walk into their GPs office and hit them up for medical cannabis straight away. Patients are still being advised to try conventional treatment methods before moving to cannabis. But, those already using it for treatment should be able to access it more easily.
For those who don’t reside in Queensland, you’ll still have to have your doctor apply to the TGA on your behalf, meaning you’re still looking at long wait times.
According to Queensland Health, medical cannabis is prescribed for a number of ailments including severe muscular spasms and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, some types of epilepsy, some forms of chronic non-cancer-related pain and in palliative care.