All over the world, the need and awareness of cannabis as natural medicine is booming.
In Canada, a federal court judge has ruled that patients have the constitutional right to grow their own cannabis.
Australia is going to legalize cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.
Changes to the narcotic drugs act mean a patient with a valid prescription can possess and use a medicinal cannabis product manufactured in Australia.
In Mexico, the Supreme Court has already granted four activists the right to grow transported smoked cannabis because of their right to the free development of personality.
The court set a precedent by voting four to one that prohibiting people from consuming the drug was unconstitutional.
However, in most countries, cannabis is an illegal drug. Because of international drug laws, countries are forced to set up government-controlled systems.
If you legalize it, you need to stay within limits and the constraints of the international drug control conventions. It says that if a country allows the legal production of cannabis and the state should have a monopoly on the sales.
Working in collaboration with strictly regulated companies and not allowing patients to grow their own cannabis.
In the United States, most states allow its medicinal use, but the production and distribution are within a private organized system. These practices could be construed as a violation of international law.
Recently, the question more than ever arises: who is controlling the quality of cannabis? Who is in charge? How do patients know what they get? Why aren’t they allowed to grow their own when needed?
In Germany, private cannabis cultivation for therapeutic purposes was going to be allowed in individual cases.
Unfortunately, the authority granting permission is not allowed to issue the necessary approval from the Federal Ministry of Health.
Now, the German government is planning to create a controlled system whereby patients will have easier access to the plant through pharmacies like the Dutch, another state-controlled program.
Politicians and scientists say that cannabis should be treated like any other medicine.
In a joint declaration organization from Europe and North America, refer to article 3 of the Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948.
“We thought that is his time to make a declaration that cannabis use is a human right that doctors shouldn’t be allowed to prescribe cannabis and cannabinoids and that patients should have access to. Cannabis is really avoiding the death of many people.”
On February 10th, 2016, there was a historic turn of events in a new Court ruling. HIV patient Rudolf Hildebrand is allowed to grow his own medicine. This unprecedented verdict allows Rudolf to be the second patient in Holland in the history of Dutch law to be able to grow cannabis as much as he needs for personal use.
He contracted the AIDS virus in a nursing accident in 1991 Rudolf decided to grow his own cannabis a total of 24 plants to fulfill his needs. In general, Dutch law tolerates five plants. After receiving a tip, the police raided his home in December 2014 Rudolf decided to go to court to fight for his right and one. His lawyer regrets that this verdict only applies to the case of Rudolf.
Rudolph’s victory to be able to grow his own cannabis backfired in a different way. His Housing Association forbids him to grow his plants in his rented house.
“I’m allowed to draw my own cannabis because otherwise, I can survive. They don’t care if I die or no. It’s all about rules.”
In 2001 the Dutch were the first in the world to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis.
The cultivation production and supply of medicinal cannabis is controlled by the Office of Medicinal Cannabis, part of the Ministry of Health.
Willem Scholten was the first director of the Office of Medicinal Cannabis. His job was to create a safe growth and distribution system to prevent medicinal users from being dependent on buying in uncontrolled coffee shops.
The Office had to make a selection of producers, and they ended up with Bedrocan, a new player on the market. In 2003 it became the sole producer for the Dutch government, a monopoly.
There is a lot of criticism from medicinal cannabis patients on the Dutch system. The Dutch medicinal program is not working for them. The mandatory gamma radiation to sterilize the cannabis is heavily criticized by experts all over the world.
“They said well, but it’s irradiated they made something out of gamma irradiation that has nothing to do with reality. Just for putting a black stamp on the medicinal cannabis from the ministry.”
Doctors do not prescribe, and insurance companies hardly payout.
“Because there is not as much research done on medicinal cannabis and in many cases, other medicines are the first choice. Initially, they agreed that it was just herb, and they could be reimbursed. Later, they didn’t keep a promise. It means for the patients that I have to pay it from their own pockets.
Also, patients complain about the lack of different varieties of cannabis and the prices that are too high. In the ministry, it was said that cannabis should finance itself, then we should have doubled the price. Maybe then we’d have a research budget. But I think the price was reasonable. There were a number of reasons for the price difference in the TVA forest and the distribution but also laboratory cost. We actually had not so many budgets for research.”
Scholten acknowledges the fact that research and development was not part of the program. Also, the fact that it is providing the right information for doctors in insurance companies was hardly done.
Countries all over the world are looking at the Dutch way a state-controlled program forced by ancient international laws and no allowance for individual growers.