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Queensland To Introduce Medicinal Cannabis Legislation

Queensland to legalise marijuana - but that doesn’t mean you can grow it.

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Queensland Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is pushing ahead with plans to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis. Health minister Cameron Dick will introduce the legislation to Queensland Parliament today.

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"My government has listened to the many points of view on this issue including from the parents of children with treatment resistant conditions who stand to benefit from this legislation," Palaszczuk said on Tuesday morning.

"I have been moved by the stories of families with young children with epilepsy, suffering life-threatening seizures, and what they have to go through on a daily basis."

The bill will not legalise recreational use of cannabis or allow people to grow it for their own use.

"The lawful production of medicinal cannabis does present an opportunity for Queensland businesses to supply goods to this expanding market," Palaszczuk said.

The announcement comes two weeks after it was reported that a study was due to start at Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.

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The Queensland government is partnering with drug company GW Pharmaceuticals to trial cannabidivarin, a cannabis-derived product.

The trials will assess the drug's effectiveness in children, particularly those suffering with severe epilepsy.

In April, the Victorian government planted its first cannabis seeds after announcing a medicinal cannabis trial involving 450 children with severe epilepsy.

"The time has come for us to drag the law into the 21st century", Victorian premier Daniel Andrews told BuzzFeed News.

"There's no high out of this. This is not a recreational drug."

"This is a medical product, a pharmaceutical product and the evidence is very clear, and it is quite amazing to see the turnaround in patients, particularly kids."

There is also a similar trial happening in New South Wales.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

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