LATEST | Baird takes medical marijuana case to the party room

MEDICAL marijuana laws in NSW are on the cusp of an historic change with Premier Mike Baird today taking control of a bill to decriminalise the drug for the dying.

The move, which received cross-party Coalition support this morning, will give those with a terminal illness exemption from prosecution, effective immediately.

The government has announced a working group will report back to the Premier by the end of the year on the issue of supply chain logistics and clinical trials.

The government's announcement it would take control of the bill has negated the need for Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson to lodge his private member's bill.

"The Premier is committed to making this work and the government is taking it (Mr Anderson's private member's bill) on lock, stock and barrel," Mr Anderson said.

"This will make it happen faster than the private member's bill would have."

He remained confident the Coalition would have a medical marijuana policy finalised by the March election.

It comes on the back of a spirited campaign from the Tamworth community, driven by local parents Lucy and Lou Haslam, who became converts to the medicinal value of the drug after seeing its effects on their son Dan, who has terminal bowel cancer.

Mr Baird and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner had previously indicated support for medical cannabis but expressed concerns about the issue of how to supply it.

Under Mr Anderson's proposal, those living with a terminal illness would be issued with a special licence and allowed 15 grams or less of dry cannabis.

NSW Opposition leader John Robertson today said if the government did not support a medical marijuana bill, Labor would take its own policy to the March state election.

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