On Wednesday, The Medical Control Council of South Africa (MCC) told MPs in parliament that it has made some significant findings in its investigation into the medicinal benefits of cannabis, reports iOL.
Dr Joey Gouws, the registrar of the MCC, told the National Assembly committee on health that by February 2017, the MCC would be able to start a regulation process by giving out permits that woul allow the controlled cultivation and supply of cannabis that’s strictly for medicinal use.
READ MORE: Codeine – SA’s new drug of choice
The research that the council did was as a result of the proposed Medical Innovation Bill that’s looking to legalise cannabis for medicinal use in the country. It’s said that cannabis has pain-relieving benefits and can help treat cancer and other terminal illnesses.
Gouws said that future legislation should allow patients with severe chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and cancer to get cannabis treatment.
READ MORE: Malema backs the legalisation of dagga
“What I would like to see is that cannabis products should be made available to all, including the poor. At the moment, these drugs are available on the black market and they are very expensive. That means many poor South Africans don’t have access to these drugs despite their pain-relief benefits for chronic pain,” said Narend Singh, IFP chief whip, in response to the research that was presented.
Gouts cautioned that there was still a need for continued research to see the long-term effects of the drug on patients, including possibilities of addiction and the effects of the drug on a patient’s brain.