Who is impeding the use of hemp for medicinal purposes in Slovenia?

Date: 03.03.2017

''Dear Minister, it's time for action!''

Many countries have already acknowledged the use of hemp for its beneficial effects on many diseases. Unfortunately Slovenia has yet foud a place among these countries, which has moved the Medical Chamber of Slovenia to initiate the preparation of the legislation for the use medical hemp an its derivatives. In comparison to synthetic cannabinoids, which are legal and available from 2014, the whole hemp or extracts contain more than 100 cannabinoids, making the treatment much more effective. This situation affects a lot of cancer patients, who are in the need for the treatment with the cannabinoids turning to the black market, exposing themselves to additional threats, stigmatisation, incriminalisation, and the worst of all - they are forced to settle for products with unclear composition, quality and extremely high prices.

Despite the facts listed and a clear obligation received from National Health Committee the to prepare the necessary regulations, the Ministry continues turning a blind eye and permits the most volnarable patients to be exposed to additional perils. It is hard to understand the Slovene Ministry for Health irresponsible and ignorant absencence of action.

The National Health Committee assembled urgently already in Oct. 2016 for the topic: "The legalisation of the cannabis cultivation and use for medical purposes“. It has unanimously concluded that the Ministry of Health should within 60 days withdraw cannabis from Schedule I narcotics and draw the appropriate legal basis to allow formal treatment with medical cannabis as a proper medicine. Considering the synergistic development opportunities that such change would bring to the country, the National Health Committee also ordered to the Ministry to prepare the necessary legal basis for the cultivation and processing of medicinal marijuana. Interestingly, despite the positive response of the Minister of Health in December 2016 to the parliamentary question on whether the Ministry of Health will take into account the resolution of the National Health Committee, nothing happened. Who is actualey obstructing the decisions within the Ministry of Health and lets months pass the deadline for implementing the conclusions of the Committee? There is an impression that instead of looking for the solutions the Ministry is looking for a way arround. This situation requires a critical reflection on the reasons and causes for such charades – since they are entirely at the expense of patients who will be further exposed to the threats of the black market insted of being properly handet to the medicinal professionals. Dear Minister, it's time for action!

* The article was prepared in February 2017.

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