The land down under is about to get down with weed. According to Mashable, Australia's federal government took a big step toward legalizing marijuana on Wednesday, announcing a proposed amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.
The amendment would initiate the legalization of cannabis cultivation for medical and research purposes as part of a "national licensing scheme."
Minister for Health Sussan Ley said in a statement the law would be the "missing piece" in granting patients access to the medication they need. Currently, the route for patients to get medical marijuana is a complicated one, something Ley would like to streamline.
In the statement, she said,
This is an important day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products... What we need is a domestic supply ... allowing the states to cultivate, manufacture, have clinical trails and take this to the next step for the relief of patients. It is so important for so many people who are waiting to overcome what has been a bureaucratic and difficult process.
Both the Australian Greens and the Labor Party have indicated they'd support the legalization of medical marijuana cultivation. With that kind of bipartisan support, Ley is optimistic the amendment will pass.