File picture: Ashraf Hendricks

Durban - Expect a ruling on whether cannabis will be legal for medicinal use by the end of the year.

This is the time frame the Speaker of Parliament has given to the matter, according to Narend Singh of the IFP.

This week, alongside their presidential elections, some American states voted to legalise cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use. Four states - California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine - opted to legalise it for recreational use.

“We don’t need to do research anymore. Enough research has been done,” said Singh. “However, if it was absolutely necessary, the Medical Research Council could do its own research.

“A number of people use cannabis illegally, but found relief. Why must we be married to chemotherapy and things like that?”

The matter is currently on the table in Parliament, before the Health Committee.

He said the request to legalise the plant was solely for medicinal purposes.

DA health spokesman James Selfe said the party supported the IFP's efforts.

Two years ago, IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who was terminally ill with lung cancer, told Parliament he had been using cannabis oil.

Independent on Saturday