2016: Legal medical marijuana a step closer

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In November, government took a massive leap, recognising marijuana as a prescription drug, rather than a banned substance.

JOHANNESBURG - The year 2016 saw Parliament announcing plans to set up the legal framework for the distribution of marijuana for medical use.

In November, government took a massive leap of recognising marijuana as a prescription drug, almost three years after the Medical Innovation Bill was first submitted to the National Assembly.

In early 2014, IFP MP Mario Ambrosini tabled a proposal to open up the medical sector to the legal use of marijuana.

He had late-stage lung cancer; he swore that the unconventional and illegal medical treatment had extended his life.

Ambrosini used an extract of THC – the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis -- and argued that there was no rational argument to outlawing medical marijuana to people who needed it.

READ: Amendments on medical marijuana to be strict: Sama

Almost two years after he took his life, the government is now investigating how to legalise the use of cannabinoids for medical purposes.

Watch Nickolaus Bauer's report .