Although Germany’s plans to legalise cannabis for adult use have garnered much of attention in Europe this year, Spain and Switzerland have also made headlines by expanding access to medical cannabis. According to a recent survey from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), 22.2 million adults in the EU (7 per cent of the population) have used cannabis in the previous year. NotFortunately, every nation in the European Union has passed legislation authorising the use of medical cannabis and has established or is developing a regulatory framework for such usage. EU members’ promises to change their laws in a way that is good for cannabis keep the political and health leaders in each country motivated to do what is best for their citizens.
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Some nations, like Germany, have facilitated patient access. Germany’s cannabis reform in 2019 granted doctors the freedom to decide how cannabis should be used for their patients. With an estimated 800,000 total medical candidates who could still benefit from cannabis medicine, the change had a good impact, and the total number of patients is already getting close to 200,000 for 2022.
All in all, adult-use access has dominated recent news and will far outweigh medical statistics.Most people, though, think that the EU will regulate access as if it were a drug, with similar quality requirements and not like the US markets for adults.
In contrast, nations like the UK continue to make it challenging for sufferers to obtain cannabis. The General Practitioner (GP) is required by UK legislation to try at least two different therapies before prescribing cannabis as a last option if those therapies are unsuccessful. Epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and clinically studied indications are the general indications for use. According to estimates, 60 per cent of patients in the EU use cannabis to treat a variety of pain symptoms; therefore, the absence of such pain as an indication is preventing much-needed access. There is still considerable work to be done to increase access for the UK’s estimated 15,000 sufferers. And the same is true for other European nations that continue to impose access restrictions on individuals who have generally recognised grounds, such as pain, gastrointestinal problems, and psychiatric indications.
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Are Europeans ready for the legalisation of cannabis for adult use?
The answer is yes, according to a survey of the general public conducted earlier this month by cannabis-focused advising company Hanway Associates.
The survey, which was performed in collaboration with Curaleaf, Cansativa,, and Ince, found that 55% of respondents are in favour of regulated adult-use sales.
Even though there are medical cannabis markets in several European countries, the laws about cannabis are still different all over the continent.
Malta was the first country in Europe to make it legal for adults to use marijuana. In December 2021, its parliament passed a law that said adults over 18 could grow up to four plants and have up to 7 grammes of cannabis.
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Patients are Being Given More Priority in Switzerland and Spain
Switzerland has made it legal for doctors to recommend cannabis to their patients, following Germany’s example. Before recommending cannabis to patients, doctors will no longer need to obtain permission from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). However, Switzerland only permits CBD-rich treatments with THC levels below 1%. The Swiss city of Zurich has begun a trial for adult-use cannabis with 10 social clubs.
They will use the University of Zurich to track the impact of this programme on the participants and community. Also, more Swiss communities are trying to start social clubs for adults who use cannabis, which has led to more talk about the country’s overall cannabis policies.
In order to counteract the unregulated market that cannabis consumers are compelled to reach, Switzerland has made it plain that they are pursuing effective legislation to safeguard the public. Switzerland, which has a population of more than 8.7 million people, is getting closer and closer to legalisation with these brave steps.