Switzerland officials have approved legislation that would ensure that cannabis patients have access to the medicine they need without skirting the law.
The new cannabis amendment proposal was approved by the Swiss National Council, and now moves on to gain approval from the Council of States in order to become law. If officially approved, loosening narcotics restrictions in order to aid patient access. The amendment changes the responsibility of what is required to received a prescription for medical cannabis. Currently, patients must seek out an “exceptional authorization” form from the Federal Office of Public Health. The amendment gives physicians control over medical cannabis access instead.
Those in support of amendment proposal made the argument that about 3,000 patients per year are granted access by the Office of Public Health to get medical cannabis for a year. This takes up a lot of time and resources, as well as the intimidating hurdle of having to go through the government to get cannabis. The unfortunate result of this is forcing many patients to look to the black market instead.
There were certain discussions made by Switzerland officials that have been rejected. For example, at this time patients will not be allowed to grow at home, smokable cannabis will not be allowed as a form of legal medicine and prescription cards have to be kept on one’s person so there is proof of prescription.
However, Switzerland officials are considering possible healthcare coverage for cannabis, though a final decision has not yet been made. It is important to note that the UN’s recent decision to remove cannabis from its Schedule IV classification has had influence on legislator’s decisions
If the amendment makes it through the next legislative house in Switzerland, the country could make a monumental move toward the future of its medical cannabis program.