The southeastern state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has removed what it described as a “huge hurdle” for patients trying to access medical marijuana.
SBS reported that NSW has partnered with the federal government to create a single application process, which allows an approval to get prescription from doctors within a 36-hour frame rather than waiting months.
Australia has six states: NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Sydney, with a population of about 5 million, is the most populated city located in the NSW state.
Doctors had to get an approval from both the NSW Government and Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to prescribe medical marijuana. This long process did not produce a uniform outcome. Now, NSW will only need a single clinical assessment by TGA.
“It’s fantastic because this (announcement) is removing a huge hurdle,” says Medicinal Cannabis Council (MCC) General Manager Blaise Bratter said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the State and Federal Governments had “taken a machete” to red tape in order to provide “direct and immediate access” to medicinal cannabis, ABC reported.
The changes would come into effect in the coming weeks, Hund said.
He added: “New South Wales is now the national leader — we have had tremendous discussions with [other states] Tasmania and Victoria, and so I am hopeful that will make progress with them very shortly.”
“The benchmark has been set here and this is about saving lives and protecting lives, it’s about giving people the capacity to go through their treatments.”
Australians have complained that access to marijuana is difficult.