Patients and activists have long fought for the legalisation of medical cannabis, but, despite mounting evidence pointing to its benefits in both pain relief and the treatment of specific conditions, have always stumbled on strong resistance by mainstream attitudes. According to Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis, the main problem has been a “widespread, albeit false, notion that it somehow helps legitimise the use of recreational cannabis”.
A set of government-proposed regulations to allow the import, distribution and use of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis, unveiled and put to public consultation in February, would, if approved by parliament, allow government to issue two licences for a period “up to 15 years”.
But the government’s proposal for the drastic overhaul of the law on medical cannabis comes with regulation so detailed and tight, making abuse – by the licensees or recreational users – next to impossible, that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the mood of people like Evdokas is hardly celebratory.
According to this document, each individual has the right “to freely choose from among different treatment procedures” and “to refuse a treatment or a medical intervention”.
A second limitation, Evdokas said, the bill places restrictions on which doctors can prescribe the drug.
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