Medical Marijuana Initiative

MCUA - Medicinal Cannabis Users Australia

1. Possession of medical cannabis extracts including those containing THC and CBD cannabinoids is not limited in any way. Possession of the cannabis flower is not limited for medical use and a patient is permitted to cultivate marijuana as would be necessary to make their own tinctures and whole plant extracts.

2. If the patient can prove that he or she meets all the criteria specified in the initiative (diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition, physician's authorisation), the patient is exempt from civil or criminal penalties related to marijuana. In most cases, a patient will not even be prosecuted.

3. Protects one "primary care giver: to a qualifying patient from marijuana-related activities.

4. Restrictive definition requires that the caregiver have "significant responsibility" for managing the care and well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition.

5. All primary care-givers must be at least 18 years old to qualify under the proposal.

6. Proposes a state-sponsored, confidential registry for patients using marijuana.

7. The State Premier must designate a public health agency to run the registry for patients.

8. The Registry will issue secure identification cards to qualifying patients. The patients can then show the cards to police to avoid arrest or punishment for the use of marijuana for medical purposes within the definition of the proposed initiative.

9. Confidentiality of the registry is assured. Only law enforcement officials who have stopped a patient with an identification card can access the registry for purposes of verifying the validity of the card.

10. "Primary care-givers" (one per patient) are specified on the identification cards and in the registry.

11. Patients with debilitating medical conditions who are under 18 years of age must receive identification cards with full parental consent (or legal guardians' consent) and have two doctors recommend marijuana in order to qualify.

12. Protects doctors whose patients use medicinal marijuana.

13. Doctors are explicitly protected under the proposed law for giving advice to their patients regarding the medical use of marijuana.

14. The requirements on doctors to authorise medical use of marijuana by their patients are limited. No findings or actions are required that would expose doctors to punishments threatened by the federal government.

15. Doctors must discuss the "risks and benefits" of marijuana with a patient considering its use, and must find that marijuana "might benefit" that patient.

Other provisions:

1. Provides for enhanced penalties for fraudulent claims of medical use, falsifying documents, or disclosing confidential information from the health agency's registry of patients.

2. Prohibits patients from driving or endangering others while under the influence of marijuana.

3. Exempts medical insurance companies from any financial responsibility for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana by a patient.

4. Prohibits medical use of marijuana in public and does not require employers to accommodate marijuana use in the work place.