Marijuana legalisation calls receive new boost

The medical innovation bill was once again on the agenda of Parliament’s Health Portfolio Committee.

FILE: Ambrosini who committed suicide last month was suffering from cancer and had on a number of occasions called for the legalisation of the drug for medicinal purposes. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Late Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP Mario Ambrosini's call to have marijuana legalised in South Africa has received a new boost.

The medical innovation bill was once again on the agenda of Parliament's Health Portfolio Committee last week.

Ambrosini who committed suicide last month was suffering from cancer and had on a number of occasions called for the legalisation of the drug for medicinal purposes.

The bill is now being spearheaded by his colleague IFP MP Narend Singh.

Singh says the principle objective of the bill is to legalise marijuana for alternative ways in treating the palliative side of cancer.

"At the moment drugs like morphine and other harmful drugs are being used to try ease the pain. Research has shown worldwide that there are alternative ways of dealing with it that have less impact."

But the Democratic Alliance (DA) is opposing sections of the bill.

The party's Wilmot James says, "What we are not supporting is the commercialisation in the use of marijuana itself."