Medical practitioners will be able to issue prescriptions for taking medical cannabis to an expanded list of patients with them needing a special license.
Access to medical cannabis will soon be considerably broadened in Israel to meet the needs of a growing number of patients, the Health Committee and the Israeli parliament decided Tuesday.
Thanks to the reform, which is expected to come into effect in the coming months, medical practitioners will be able to issue prescriptions for taking medical cannabis to an expanded list of patients without them needing a special license.
Epilepsy, Crohn's disease, dementia, autism, oncological diseases, multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, and terminally ill patients whose life expectancy does not exceed six months: All patients with these diseases will see their access to medical cannabis greatly facilitated with a simple prescription from a doctor in the same way as other drugs. At the same time, medical professionals will be trained on the issue of kashrut – religious dietary requirements – affecting medical cannabis.
Currently, patients who want to use medical cannabis must go through complex procedures that lengthen the waiting period. They thus need to obtain a special license from the Health Ministry, which is granted only by certain doctors trained for this purpose.
Some 100,000 patients have such licenses in Israel to consume medical cannabis, including many who suffer from post-traumatic stress. These patients voiced frustration that the syndrome they suffer from is not included in the list of diseases that are accepted for access to medical cannabis.
The chairman of the Health Committee, however, stressed that this was only a first step and that the list could be expanded.
Aharon Shavi, director of the drug treatment service of the Welfare and Social Security Ministry, has called for increased vigilance so that this expansion of prescriptions is not used to fuel addictions or illicit cannabis trafficking.
Source: i24 News Israel