Victoria is the only state to have a marijuana cultivation trial under way.
Victoria is the only state to have a marijuana cultivation trial under way. Nathan Denette

What are the laws concerning marijuana?


Queensland: Approved marijuana products can be prescribed by an authorised health professional from March 2017. As with all states, these must be sourced from an approved supplier. No amnesty or compassionate use scheme is in place.

New South Wales: Authorised health professionals can prescribe approved medicines to patients with certain conditions. Terminally ill patients can also apply for compassionate use or amnesty to use small quantities of unapproved marijuana for medicinal reasons.

Victoria: Certain patients, including terminally ill and severely epileptic people, can apply for access to medicinal marijuana from 2017. Victoria is the only Australia state so far to have a cultivation trial under way.

South Australia: Access to specific marijuana-derived medicine are available to certain patients from an authorised prescriber. No compassionate use or amnesty scheme is in place.

Federal: Patients may apply through the Therapeutic Goods Administration for access to imported products with approval from their state or territory. Applications are being accepted for the cultivation and manufacture of marijuana products.

International: The cultivation, manufacture and supply of marijuana must comply with the United Nations' Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961. Among other regulations, cultivating marijuana must be secure and licensed, similarly to the Tasmanian poppy industry.


Medicinal use

This is typically when a person uses oils, balms or capsules to relieve symptoms of illnesses. These can be physical, such as seizures or chemotherapy -induced nausea, or psychological, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Some users will smoke or vaporise marijuana, but this is less commonly accepted by medical professionals as it usually involves mixing marijuana with tobacco.

Queensland is the only state which doesn't limit marijuana based on the type of product. This means with an approved prescription, patients can theoretically access oils, balms, capsules and other medicines in addition to whole plant products.

Growers who meet certain criteria deeming them "fit and proper" can apply for licences to cultivate marijuana.

Recreational use

Similarly to alcohol use, recreational marijuana use involves people seeking a desired "high" effect rather than relief of medical symptoms.

Recreational users will typically smoke marijuana, such as in hand-rolled cigarettes or through water-pipes, or consume it in baked goods such as brownies, cakes or biscuits.

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