A resolution for more research into medicinal cannabis as part of the next EU budget was voted on this week in the European Parliament’s Environment, Food Safety and Public Health Committee, Mairead Mc McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament, has said.
“The subject is very much on the European political agenda,” MEP McGuinness said.
And she said there is a need for increased knowledge among medical professionals of the potential of cannabis based medicine.
According to the text voted through, ‘there is little or no educational training on the impact of medical products containing THC and CBD in EU countries for medical staff’.
“Yet cannabis based products such as food supplements or cosmetics containing Cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychotropic cannaboids of the cannabis sativa plant, are on sale in shops throughout Ireland and the EU,” Ms McGuinness said.
“We cannot ignore that citizens are accessing cannabis based medicines online or elsewhere. And that EU countries have a responsibility to secure sufficient availability of safe and controlled cannabis for medicinal purposes to cater for citizens’ needs.”
She said the black market should not be the port of call to gain access to these medicines.
“Appropriate points of sale, with restrictions on sale to minors and precautions for pregnant women, need to be further developed and harmonised across the EU.”
There is currently no harmonised EU wide legislation in this area and in particular for labelling of cannabis based products.
In Ireland, a special license has been granted in a very limited number of cases for the use of medicinal cannabis.
The Minister for Health can grant a licence for access to cannabis for medical purposes in individual cases when an application is endorsed by a consultant who is responsible for the management of the patient.
“Aspirin is made from the willow tree, and perhaps it is a good time to consider the potential benefits of medical cannabis,” Ms McGuinness said.
No EU Member States authorises the smoking of marijuana for medicinal purposes – as smoking is bad for health and combined with tobacco has obvious health consequences, she said.
Similarly, no country in the EU permits home growing of cannabis for medical reasons.