Several Cannabis related bills are scheduled for debate in the national parliament on Wednesday, February 12 including legislation to establish a medical cannabis authority.
Up for debate are the Cannabis Bill, 2020; and the Drugs (Prevention & Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
Additionally, the Attorney General will move the second reading of Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which deals with the expunction of criminal records for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Once the legislation is passed persons convicted of an offence or offences involving the drug Cannabis or Cannabis resin in a quantity of 15 grams or less can have that record expunged.
The Cannabis Bill, 2020, seeks to establish the Medicinal Cannabis Authority “in order to provide for the lawful access to medicinal cannabis as an alternative treatment for persons who are suffering from a qualifying medical condition. According to the government the bill also provides for a comprehensive licensing scheme to regulate the cultivation, supply, possession, production and use of medicinal cannabis and seeks to establish a Board with responsibility for the policy, strategic direction and governance of the Authority.
The Drugs (Prevention & Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, seeks to further update the existing law to make possession of up to 56 grams of cannabis or up to 15 grams of cannabis resin a ticketable offence. Currently, the possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis or 5 grams or less of cannabis resin is a ticketable offence.
Wednesday’s sitting of the National Assembly will air live on local radio stations starting at 10am.