On October 25, 2019, the members of France’s Assemblée Nationale (its legislative branch of government), during their consideration of the 2020 national budget authorized, with only a public vote of “hands up”, the medical use of Cannabis for an initial trial period of two years. The amendment was based on a report prepared by the researcher Olivier Learn, from the LREM, and then submitted for approval to the Agence du Medicament (ANSM), the French regulatory agency for drugs.
The therapeutic forms of Cannabis were only approved for those patients that are in what they dubbed as an “impasse thérapeutique” with clinical variants of Epilepsy that are resistant to traditional treatments, neuropathic pain after amputations, secondary effects of the chemotherapy and the involuntary muscular contractions of Multiple Sclerosis. The Cannabis will be provided in liquid or inhalator presentations by physicians that will be especially trained with stringent regulatory protocols by the government. Even thought its recreational use is still prohibited, this is a previous step in that direction.
During the past few years the elected officials of the European countries have been pressured by their peers in Holland, which is the only EU nation that has decriminalized the personal use of Cannabis. The small progressive country has been swarmed by busloads of eager buyers of pot for multiple reasons, including medical and recreational ones. The Dutch authorities claim that they can control what goes on in front of the counters but not in the back of them as the industry has been taken over by criminal gangs. If the other members of the European Community start to legalize and control the use of Cannabis, then the Dutch authorities could count on pan-European enforcement.
Even though it has not been legally approved yet in Macedonia—a small European country tucked between Serbia and Greece—its northern territory—with plenty of sunshine and little rain—has thousands of square kilometers with marijuana plants. A report of France Internationale (RFI) on the issue stated that many investors are already courting the Macedonian authorities to distribute their stocked tons of harvested pot. This schizophrenic negation of the reality by authorities of the European Community (EU) is reminiscent of what happens in the USA. A confused/confusing message.
Only the strict federal regulation and control of Cannabis will pave the way for the needed scientific research and protection of consumers in both the USA and the EU.
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