Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has thrown his support behind the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.

In a letter to talkback radio host Alan Jones, Mr Abbott wrote “I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates…If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose though and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality.”

Jones read out the letter from Mr Abbott – who has not commented publicly on the issue before – on his 2GB breakfast program on Wednesday. The influential presenter has been campaigning on behalf of 24-year-old Dan Haslam, who has been using cannabis to relieve nausea associated with chemotherapy to treat his terminal cancer.

A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott confirmed the letter reflected Mr Abbott’s views on the issue.

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