South Africa targets legalization of medicinal cannabis in 2017

The South African Department of Health is making progress on reclassifying marijuana from an illicit substance to a prescription drug.

A top official with the Medical Control Council recently told the National Assembly that the MCC could begin the regulation process as soon as February, including allowing the cultivation and supply of MMJ, according to IOL, a South African news site.

The council has proposed rescheduling cannabis, or “dagga” as it’s known in South Africa, from a Schedule 7 banned substance to a Schedule 6 prescription drug.

South Africa has allowed cannabis to be used for research but not for medicine.

A Medical Innovation Bill, which would legalize cannabis for medicinal use, has been proposed to increase research and approve cannabis as an alternative medicine. A version of the bill was first proposed in 2014.

Earlier this year, about 3,000 protesters took to the streets of Cape Town to march in support of legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in South Africa.