Medical use of cannabis in Australia: "medical necessity" defences under current Australian law and avenues for reform

Charles Martin
Journal of Law and Medicine 2014, 21 (4): 875-99
The possession of cannabis is an offence in all Australian jurisdictions. No exception is made for medical use under any of the State and Territory Drug Acts, nor the Commonwealth's pharmaceutical regulation scheme. Nevertheless, questions remain about the scope for defences argued on the basis of necessitous medical use. More fundamentally the increasingly favourable light in which the medical use of cannabis is growing to be seen by state and national legislatures overseas raises important questions about the need for reform of Australian drug laws. This article explores those questions.

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