Israel’s Health Ministry has expressed opposition to granting general practitioners the right to prescribe medical marijuana.
Instead, the ministry will certify 10 doctors during the first half of 2014, allowing them to prescribe medicinal marijuana to the growing number of patients who currently use it. These 10, newly certified doctors will join the 20 doctors currently permitted by the Health Ministry to prescribe the drug.
A bill formulated by the Health Ministry will be brought before the cabinet for discussion next week. The bill also seeks to transform the current distribution process, replacing local marijuana growers with a more regulated supply to pharmacies.
“Marijuana is defined as a ‘dangerous drug,’ though at the same time, the Health Ministry recognizes that there are medical uses for marijuana. Even if it is not an official medication or remedy throughout the world, it can reduce the suffering of many patients,” reads the introduction to the bill. “The Health Ministry believes that marijuana should be treated like every other medical product. It requires proper supervision in order to safeguard public health, while also taking into consideration its special nature – the fact that it is a plant, and not medication produced in a factory or laboratory. Given that marijuana is considered a dangerous drug, any arrangement made to regulate medicinal use of the plant in Israel must closely resemble the regulations for other narcotic medications,” continues the bill.
– Read the entire article at Haaretz.