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21 November, 2019
 
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Officials spot loopholes in medical cannabis law

Medical Services department calls for caps on docs who prescribe pot

Newsroom

A number of provisions in the medical marijuana legislation were taken out prior to a vote, prompting officials to call for amendments to block doctors from prescribing cannabis without any limits.

According to Philenews, a huge loophole in the medical marijuana law gives doctors the right to prescribe as much cannabis as they deem appropriate, with some speculating that some of the prescribed marijuana for medicinal use could end up in the wrong hands.

While medical cannabis was not illegal previously, medicinal use of marijuana was unregulated until the House passed in February a bill that regulates the production, use, and import of medicinal cannabis. Prior to any legislation, patients had to resort to writing letters to the health minister in order to get help and avoid troubles with the law.

During the debate of the bill, a number of provisions were taken out as political parties were adding their own amendments

But during the debate of the bill, a number of provisions were taken out as political parties were adding their own amendments to the final text.

For instance, 30 grams of cannabis were set as the maximum monthly dosage per patient, but this provision was removed. Another provision that was taken out, according to Philenews, was the kind of conditions to be treated by the healing plant, with Medical Services calling on the Health Ministry to push for caps on conditions and quantity.

But placing caps on medical cannabis prescription has remained a big debate in other countries as well, with the burden of responsibility in many states typically falling on the doctors, as medical professionals, who prescribe whatever they consider appropriate in each case.

Medical cannabis can be used as a treatment for symptoms for a variety of medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, AIDs, HIV, Crohn’s Disease, epilepsy, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, terminal illnesses, and any other debilitating medical conditions. Experts also say medicinal use of marijuana can be prescribed for gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders, PMS, chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.

Medical Services push for amendment

Medical Services officials, according to Philenews, have issued a statement where they take issue with the lack of scientific basis and justification on some of the conditions, with an amendment in the works now aiming to give authority to state agencies to regulate safety measures by requiring prescriptions to be scrutinized.

“Both social conditions and scientific progress ought to be taken into account when it comes to prescribing and dispensing medical cannabis,” the statement said.

However, critics point out that the debate on whether medical cannabis can treat certain conditions is relative and can vary in terms of evidence from state to state. In fact, even experts who support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes also point to a lack of high-quality data that would prove marijuana is both safe and effective for most medical purposes.

Evidence suggests pot is a good last resort

Cannabinoids are produced from cannabis plant and the marijuana product can be smoked, vaporized, or eaten, among other forms of ingestion. A substance called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or TCH is rapidly absorbed, some forms more quickly than others, with the chemicals bonding to cannabinoid receptors on cells throughout the body, triggering or modulating different effects.

The overwhelming consensus among experts is that the best current evidence suggests marijuana is a reasonable treatment when other options are not possible for the patient.

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