Bureacracy could delay medicinal marijuana, Greens say

BUREAUCRATIC hurdles could delay medicinal cannabis reaching patients, despite moves by both major parties to legalise growing the plant for medicine, the Greens say.

Health Minister Sussan Ley has pledged to bring forward legislation to allow the growing of cannabis for medicine nationally, but will leave it up to state governments on whether to allow it in their jurisdictions.

Labor's health spokeswoman Catherine King backed the moves, but said the Opposition would ensure it was legal around the country, as long as it was scientifically proven to work.

Greens leader and former GP Senator Richard Di Natale also welcomed the changes, but said simply legalising the growing of the plant would not help overcome regulatory barriers to approve the medicine for consumers.

"The test for any reform is whether it will get this medicine in the hands of everyone who needs it, and I'm afraid the government's proposed reform falls well short of that," Dr Di Natale said.

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