The 1961 UN Narcotic Drugs Convention equates cannabis with hard drugs such as heroin, opium and cocaine. This classification, based purely on economic policy considerations, has unfairly stigmatized cannabis around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has asked the UN member states to reclassify THC from Schedule IV to Schedule I of the Convention, to permit its medical use and to exclude (non-intoxicating) CBD from the scope of the Convention altogether. In a recently adopted resolution (13 February 2019), the European Parliament is likewise calling on the EU Commission and EU member states to liberalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes. We therefore call for: @ Speedy liberalization of the use of cannabis for medical purposes (along the lines of the 2017 reform in Germany: flowers/buds available on prescription). Establishment of a market, bringing down prices. @ CBD and CBD-containing products to be exempted from the restrictions of the Novel Food Regulation, which serve only to advance the interests of the pharma industry. @ Market control through product tests and quality labels. @ Training for physicians and dispensing chemists in the use of cannabis for medical purposes. @ Cost coverage by health insurance systems. For more information, visit www.allianz-gegen-ignoranz.at
Numerous scientific studies have found that THC is effective in the treatment of chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, muscular spasms and multiple sclerosis. Flowers/buds have been found to be even more effective than the single-constituent substances contained in a small number of medications. However, because of the monopolistic structure of the market, buying cannabis-based drugs at a chemist’s costs a fortune. This has to change so that millions of chronic pain patients will be able to afford treatment with products based on this medicinal plant. There is an increasing body of evidence, some of it included in scientific studies, that (non-intoxicating) CBD may be medically beneficial in even more ways. It has a calming and relaxing effect, acts as a soporific and relieves pain. Research is currently being conducted on whether CBD (in high doses) may be able to alleviate or even cure cancer. Because of its properties, CBD is a substance of special interest to the pharmaceutical industry. But instead of engaging in research and presenting their results in the market, pharma companies and their lobbyists are trying to push CBD and CBD products out of the market. They are doing this by lobbying the working party of the EU Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to classify CBD and cannabinoids as novel foods, with the result that these substances would become subject to expensive and time-consuming approval procedures. These attempts are currently under way. The working party will hold its next meeting on 12 March 2019. We are calling for consumer and patient advocacy organizations to get a hearing in the process. Pushing CBD out of the free market only promotes the interests of the pharma industry and deprives millions of patients of an effective medicinal plant. Thank you very much for your support. Peter Kolba, Laab im Walde
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