Victoria becomes first Australian state to legalize medical marijuana
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Victoria becomes first Australian state to legalize medical marijuana

THE Australian state of Victoria has recently legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

The first batch of medicinal cannabis is expected to be rolled out in 2017 to treat children with severe epilepsy.

The state’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy made the announcement after the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill passed Parliament, which will allow for the manufacture, supply and access to medicinal cannabis products.

“We’re starting with these children with severe epilepsy, whose lives have been shown to improve so significantly, because we know these children often don’t make it until adulthood,” Hennessy was quoted as saying on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “We want to improve the quality of their [lives].”

She said that currently, parents of children with the disorder purchased the drug illegally.

“I just think that in this day and age, it’s unfair and unacceptable to ask a parent to make a decision between obeying the law and acting in the best interests of their child,” she said.

“Those parents will no longer have that dilemma.”

The drugs, she said, will be made available in a variety of forms, including tinctures, oils, capsules, sprays and vaporizer liquids, among others. She added they would eventually be made available to palliative care patients and those with HIV, according to the ABC report.