Liberal Warren Entsch wants trials of medical marijuana amid a push for it to be legalised in Australia.

Medical marijuana will be used to treat cancer patients if an Abbott government backbencher gets his way.

Queensland MP Warren Entsch is drafting a bill, which he hopes to introduce to parliament in the coming fortnight, to allow for legal trials of cannabis to treat people with cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

If the trials are successful, Mr Entsch says he will introduce further legislation to fully legalise the drug for medical purposes and make it available “like any other life-saving or life-enhancing drugs”, he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

But his coalition colleague Kevin Andrews is circumspect.

“We would need to be very careful, very assured, that we’re not going to see any more widespread use of marijuana and cannabis than there is at the present time,” the social services minister said.