Medical Marijuana in Europe
There have been conflicting reactions towards the introduction of medical marijuana in many parts of Europe. It is important to note that every country have different points of view on the laws concerning the use of marijuana within their territories. This review will begin from the latest information we have.
Italy has approved the use of medical marijuana for the patients whose cases will be approved after assessment by a qualified medical practitioner. The types of health challenges for which it can be prescribed include- cancer, debilitating injuries, spinal cord injuries and other ailments as seen fit by the doctors. It is currently manufactured at the Military Chemical Pharmaceutical Unit located in Florence. The price has been pegged at 15 euros/gram. The scope for regulated use covers cases where other drugs used for pain relief have failed.
Germany, a leading member of the EU takes the position of the fifth country in this region to approve the use of medical marijuana. Other countries that have previously granted approval are Portugal, Italy, The Czech Republic and France. At the moment, there are plans to establish farms where cannabis will be cultivated in Germany, a working system has already been implemented to import the quantity needed until the cannabis farms are fully functional. This comes as a huge relief to the large number of patients who need the medical cannabis.
Switzerland is one of the countries that has accepted and legalized the use of medical cannabis. Seven major cities have indicated interests in developing their very own cannabis pilot projects. The cities are Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Solothurn and Basel. It is also welcoming to note that in Cannatrade, Zurich, many companies have successfully launched their own greenhouse farms where cannabis is successfully grown with strict adherence to the medical standards. The products have good features –CBD-rich flower and CBD-balsam. The legally grown CBD buds contain as much as 1% THC content which is within the legal limits set by the federal government. In the EU, the THC limit for industrial cannabis must not exceed 0.3%. In Switzerland, the industrial cannabis produced can contain as much as 1% of the psychoactive cannabis constituent. The government recently approved the use of a new product, a tobacco substitute made from cannabis rich flowers.
The authorities in France have shown a high level of reluctance to approve the use of medical cannabis. It is however commonly used by the residents especially teenagers on a large scale.
The laws in France prohibit the production, possession, sale, purchase and use of narcotics, this includes medicinal cannabis. Patients who would have felt better after using medicinal cannabis are made to rely on alternatives like Sativex. This is a drug used to treat patients of sclerosis. It is still puzzling why France has refused to acknowledge the potentials of medicinal cannabis to support the economy. The reasons might not be far from the fact that it still enjoys a big boost in trade from the alcohol industry. Approving the use of cannabis might negatively affect this industry because there is a high tendency that people will begin to smoke more and consume less alcohol.
Portugal passed laws that permitted a wide range of drugs to be freely used by individuals in 2001. This decision has had a remarkable impact on the economy, a good example that can be studied by other countries yet to accept this trend.
The Czech Republic
The Czech government remains one of the most liberal governments when it comes to the use and development of medical cannabis. There have been remarkable investments in research work to study and further develop cannabis for medical uses. The establishment of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids institute, supported by American companies have been enough proof to indicate the governments full support for the medicinal cannabis programs in the country.
The goal the government seeks to achieve is to generate useful information using the leverage of big data platforms and other resources to provide a wide range of commonly sought after research services. These services will be patronized by product manufacturers, distributors, laboratories, research institutes, medical professionals, patients, universities and private institutions.