26 November 2016

All Africa.com write

The IFP has welcomed the Department of Health’s commitment to opening up processes that could lead to the legalisation of medical cannabis for chronic illnesses.

The department and the Medicines Control Council announced in Parliament on Wednesday that it will soon request public comment on the Medical Innovation Bill, the party said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Bill was first introduced by former IFP MP Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini during his own fight with terminal cancer before his death in 2014.

Full Report At http://allafrica.com/stories/201611250366.html

News24 South Africa

Cape Town – The IFP has welcomed the Department of Health’s commitment to opening up processes that could lead to the legalisation of medical cannabis for chronic illnesses.

The department and the Medicines Control Council announced in Parliament on Wednesday that it will soon request public comment on the Medical Innovation Bill, the party said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Bill was first introduced by former IFP MP Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini during his own fight with terminal cancer before his death in 2014.

IFP chief whip Narend Singh praised the announcement, saying it was a “giant step forward” in the two-year fight for regulated medicinal cannabis use in South Africa.

“This is a victory for every South African unnecessarily suffering because of HIV/Aids, severe chronic pain, severe muscle spasms, vomiting or wasting arising from cancer, or severe seizures resulting from epileptic conditions where other treatment options have failed or have had intolerable side effects,” he said.

Singh reintroduced the Bill following Oriani-Ambrosini’s death to ensure that the “vital issue would stay on the table”. It will form the legal framework for the use of medical cannabis under strict conditions.

The new regulatory framework could be available by the end of January 2017 for stakeholder comment and could be implemented by April 2017.

Full Report: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ifp-welcomes-giant-step-forward-for-medical-cannabis-use-20161124

Sowetan Live.com

The terminally ill, or patients with chronic pain, appear to be one step closer to being able to access cannabis to treat their symptoms after political parties decided to work together in parliament to ensure access to medicinal marijuana.

Yesterday, parliament’s portfolio committee on health met to discuss the Medical Innovations Bill, a private members bill submitted by the IFP’s Narend Singh, which calls for access to and regulation of cannabis for medical use.

The bill was first written by IFP’s Mario Ambrosini, who campaigned for the use of the drug after it was used to treat his lung cancer. He introduced the bill to parliament shortly before his death and Singh reworked and reintroduced the bill to parliament in his own name. It has, however, stagnated as parties and the Department of Health tried to find common ground.

But yesterday, Singh said he “felt like I am on a high” having seen the steps the Department of Health and the Medicines Control Council (MCC) had taken to ensure the drug could be used to treat pain, nausea and spasms associated with illnesses like cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis.

The MCC outlined steps that included new regulations and the promulgation of certain key pieces of legislation, which could see people being able to access the drug more readily.

Full Report: http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2016/11/24/sa-a-step-closer-to-medicinal-cannabis-use