Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

WE are a step closer to le­galised med­i­cal mar­i­juana af­ter the Fed­eral Par­lia­ment passed a Bill last week to al­low cannabis to be grown in Aus­tralia for med­i­cal prod­ucts. A na­tional reg­u­la­tor will track the prod­uct from the farm to phar­macy to pre­vent crim­i­nal in­fil­tra­tion. There is lit­tle doubt it will bring re­lief for many with med­i­cal con­di­tions and it will make some en­tre­pre­neur­ial busi­ness peo­ple a small for­tune. But it could also lead to a push for le­galised recre­ational use. Med­i­cal mar­i­juana has be­come a huge com­mer­cial suc­cess in the US. If it was al­lowed for wide­spread recre­ational use in the US, it is es­ti­mated the in­dus­try would be worth be­tween $10 bil­lion and $120 bil­lion per year. Com­pa­nies are pro­mot­ing its use and are hop­ing it will be­come “as pop­u­lar and ac­cepted as al­co­hol”. With all the dam­age al­co­hol does to our com­mu­ni­ties, it is hardly a ring­ing en­dorse­ment.

Rick Lee - re­gional editor

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