Switzerland May Soon Legalize Medical Marijuana

The Swiss government on Wednesday put forth a proposal to legalize marijuana as prescription medicine.

The proposal would allow prescriptions for marijuana to treat cancer and other serious ailments report Reuters. Separate from a Swiss government push to allow some cities to experiment with recreational marijuana, the proposition would replace the current system in which those seeking medical cannabis must apply for an exception from the Federal Health Office to get what is otherwise an illegal drug.

“The proposal makes it possible for doctors to directly prescribe cannabis as part of their treatment,” the Swiss cabinet said in a statement. “Growing and processing medical cannabis, as well as its sale, would then be possible under a system regulated” by Swissmedic, the country’s drug regulatory agency.

A formal comment period runs until mid-October.

“The biggest obstacle to automatic reimbursement is that the scientific evidence of efficacy is not yet sufficient and the conclusions of existing studies are sometimes contradictory,” the government said.

The Federal Health Office will launch an evaluation project to help answer questions about whether the drug is an effective remedy and, if so, for what conditions, it said.

Switzerland cited increased use of medical marijuana in the treatment of a variety of conditions as driving its initiative. Federal authorities granted around 3,000 exceptions for people seeking to get medical marijuana in 2018.

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