Australia Launches its First trial of Medicinal Marijuana

Sydney (AUSTRALIA) – Patients including children with severe epilepsy will be given marijuana as part of the first clinical trial of cannabis in Australia, the state government of New South Wales announced Sunday.

Terminally ill adults and chemotherapy patients who suffer from nausea and vomiting as a result of their treatment will also be included in the marijuana trial, which will be funded and run by the NSW state government, news reports said.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said he expected hundreds of people to take part in the trial, and if it is successful at relieving pain and suffering, the government would consider importing marijuana or allowing it to be grown in the state.

Marijuana is illegal even for medicinal use in Australia, although possession of small amounts has been decriminalized in some states and police turn a blind eye to small amounts for personal use.

Polls show that 70 per cent of Australians favor legalizing medicinal marijuana and 56 per cent think marijuana should be legalized outright.

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