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Medical use of marijuana a step closer to being legalised - IFP

The party says research around the world has indicated that several countries are already permitting the use of cannabis related products for pain relief.

FILE: A medical marijuana shop in Los Angeles, California. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – The use of marijuana could potentially be legalised in South Africa by the end of February, a positive development for the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) which has been pushing for legalisation of medical marijuana for many years.

The late IFP Member of Parliament Mario Ambrosini, who battled lung cancer, pleaded with President Jacob Zuma to decriminalise the use of dagga during a debate in Parliament in 2014.

Party chief whip Narend Singh says he has recently received a letter informing him the Medicines Control Council's working group on cannabis last week presented its findings to the council.

The group will soon be publishing their proposals and their guidelines for public comment on cannabis production for medical use.

Singh says research around the world has indicated that several countries are already permitting the use of cannabis related products for pain relief.

“I think there is a bit of a misconception with a number of people that have seen this on social media – that there is going to be a ‘free for all’. It is certainly not a free for all, it’s a point of departure for government is that ‘okay let us accept that we need to research the efficacy of these products for pain relief.”

Ambrosini was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2013. He took his own life in August 2014.

LISTEN: Medical marijuana close to being legalised