France Legalizes Medical Weed
July 9th, 2013
Categories : Blog
A victory in France for medical and recreational cannabis activists worldwide.
Health Minister Marilsol Touraine and Social Affairs has pushed the federal government to legalize the use of medical cannabis-based prescriptions along with the prescription of cannabis itself, as other countries have recently been allowing.
The Public Health Code Decree n° 2013-473, which went into effect this June eight, replaced a complete scheduling and ban of cannabis with a revision that allows the use and sale of different cannabinoids for medicinal purposes, legalizing medical cannabis in France.
Pharmaceutical “cannabis-based” and cannabinoid-derived will still have to go under review by the National Medical Safety Agency before becoming legal for prescription. However, the road for medical cannabis in France has widened, and the new code’s revisions will be carried out under the supervision of Health Minister Touraine within the next few months.
Quote Phillip Smith from stopthedrugwar.org, “The code modification makes legal ‘the production, transport, export, possession, offering, acquisition or use of specialty pharmaceuticals that contain one of these (cannabis-derivative) substances.’”
Cannabis researchers in the medical field also enjoy greater freedom under the new cannabis health code.
Talking to French online magazine StreetPress (thelocal.fr), Philippe Gaertner, spokesperson for the Pharmacists’ Union, remarks, “The law allows us above all to unblock the process of launching research into cannainoids.”
However, the timeframe between this week’s legal victory and the actual appearance of medical cannabis and cannabis-derived medicine on the markets and shelves of France is still unclear. “I’m not sure we’ll have these medicines on the market quickly,” he says.
Medical cannabis, and the herb’s free use, is seeing decriminlization and complete legalization in a growing number of nations in these recent years.
The United States still has THC and its analogues under Schedule I. But individually, 18 states have legalized medical cannabis, and three have legalized its use completely (with restrictions on possession amount, etc.).
Of Europe, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland, Austria, the Czech Republican, and now France have federally legalized medical cannabis or cannabis-derivatives.