Cannabis to stay illegal in Qld: minister

By Nathan Paull

Any prospect of marijuana being decriminalised in Queensland is still a long way off, the state's health minister says.

Cameron Dick's comments come after the government this week released draft legislation that could allow doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis by the end of the year.

Although focused on medical treatment and not wider use, Mr Dick did leave the door open for decriminalisation eventually.

"Let's let people use it for medicinal purposes and then if something good comes out of that, which I know it will, then maybe we can look at those things down the track," Mr Dick told Triple M Radio on Tuesday.

However, he later clarified his comments to emphasise the government had no current plans to look at decriminalisation.

"It is still a narcotic," he said.

"If it is not properly regulated, it can cause harm to people, but we do know there are benefits for some patients in using medicinal cannabis."

There will be a month-long consultation process and the legislation is expected to be introduced into parliament around April or May.

Mr Dick said he hoped it would pass by the end of 2016.