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Access to medical cannabis will be facilitated for patients

Drapeau suisse

« It will no longer be necessary to request an exceptional authorization from the FOPH to use cannabis for medical purposes. The new regulation will particularly benefit people suffering from severe chronic pain and spasticity. »

Federal Office of Public Health

The Federal Council intends to facilitate access to medical cannabis for patients. At its meeting on 22 June 2022, it therefore decided to lift the ban on medical cannabis in the Narcotics Law (LStup). An exceptional authorization from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is no longer required for medical prescription. However, the sale and consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes remains prohibited. The change in the law will come into force on August 1, 2022, reports the communication service of the Federal Office of Public Health.*

As of August 1, 2022, medical cannabis will be more readily available to patients. The decision to use a cannabis-based medicine for therapeutic purposes will be made by the doctor in consultation with the patient. It will no longer be necessary to apply to the FOPH for an exceptional authorization to use medical cannabis. The new regulation will particularly benefit people suffering from severe chronic pain and spasticity.*

Growing demand*

Until now, it was forbidden to cultivate or import cannabis or to process it into medical preparations without an exceptional permit. Furthermore, the treatment of patients with cannabis-based medicines not subject to authorization was only possible with an exceptional authorization from the FOPH and only in justified cases.*

The demand for such authorizations has increased in recent years. These time-consuming administrative procedures delay treatments, and the current situation no longer reflects the exceptional character provided for by the law on narcotics. The Federal Council therefore submitted to Parliament an amendment to the law to remove the ban on cannabis for medical purposes, which was adopted in March 2021. A narcotics prescription will still be required for such medicines.*

Lack of evidence of effectiveness for reimbursement*

The adaptation of the law does not change the conditions for reimbursement of cannabis-based medicines by the compulsory health insurance. Currently, they are only reimbursed in exceptional cases. The Federal Council has examined whether there is a need for action in this area. However, the available evidence on the efficacy and suitability of cannabis-based medicines is currently insufficient to allow for general coverage.*

The data that will now be collected by the Confederation on treatments with cannabis-based medicines may prove useful. The mandatory data collection serves to observe the evolution of the prescription of these drugs and to obtain more evidence on their effects. It is limited to the first seven years after the law is changed. The data obtained can support, but not replace, a specific claim for reimbursement of cannabis-based medications.*

Need to adapt the implementing legislation

Implementation of the law change requires adaptations to the Ordinance on the Control of Narcotics (OCStup) and the Ordinance on the Schedules of Narcotics (OCStup-DFI), scheduled for August 1, 2022. In particular, the control measures for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes will be regulated in detail and Swissmedic will assume responsibility for them once the law is amended.*

* original article

** image

*** ndlr. : –.

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Will the consumption and production of recreational cannabis soon be legal in Switzerland?

Drapeau suisse

« If hemp cultivation brings a better margin than beet or rapeseed cultivation, it is clear that people will go for this kind of cultivation. The question of profitability will be a determining factor in this respect. »

Michel Darbellay, Swiss Farmers’ Union

The commissions of the parliament agree to lift the current ban on the consumption and production of recreational cannabis in Switzerland. The aim would be to dry up the black market by making the sale of cannabis legal, reports RTS.*

Heinz Siegenthaler, national councilor of the center, initiated the change of the cannabis law. The farmer already uses legal hemp to produce oil for food but he wants to lift the total ban.*

But would this legalization be an opportunity for Swiss agriculture? In Canada and California, cannabis has been legalized to dry up the black market, but for Michel Darbellay of the Swiss Farmers’ Union, the prospects are still uncertain.*

A growing market*

In Switzerland, 300’000 people regularly use cannabis for recreational purposes. The desired effect is found in the THC substance. However, it is forbidden to cultivate plants containing more than 1% THC in Switzerland.*

According to Heinz Siegenthaler, cannabis production “is not as easy as growing potatoes or beets, because the plants have to be protected so that young people can’t get access to them. But for innovative, modern farmers who are looking for something new, it is an opportunity. Currently, 180 Swiss farmers grow industrial hemp to produce fiber, tea or fodder.*

Legalization not always sufficient to face the black market*

“If the cultivation of hemp brings a better margin than the cultivation of beet or rape, it is clear that people will start to cultivate it. The question of profitability will be decisive in relation to that”, explains Michel Darbellay.*

The margin and the market are difficult to anticipate. In Canada, where recreational cannabis has been legal for three years, there is an overproduction, big companies buying up small growers and the black market remains important.*

* original article

** image

*** ndlr. : –.

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Drug-resistant MS spasticity treatment with Sativex® add-on and driving ability

Acta Neurologica Scandinavica logo
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Duration of Neurocognitive Impairment With Medical Cannabis Use: A Scoping Review

frontiers in Psychiatry
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Commission opens door to lifting cannabis ban

Drapeau suisse

« The arguments used by the proponents of prohibition hold less and less on the moral and legal level. »

Heinz Siegenthaler, National Councillor

The public health commission of the Council of States supports a project aiming at completely revising the regulation of the production, trade and consumption of cannabis in Switzerland. This opens the door to legalization, but the process may take some time, reports RTS.*

The committee supported by nine votes to two a parliamentary initiative of National Councillor Heinz Siegenthaler (Le Centre/BE), said Tuesday the parliamentary services.*

The text, co-signed by 40 deputies of all parties, requires that the regulation be amended in accordance with the recommendations of the Federal Commission for issues related to addiction, and that it takes into account the policy known as “four pillars”.*

The National Health Commission will now be able to draft legislation to create a regulated cannabis market. In April the committee approved Heinz Siegenthaler’s initiative by 13 votes to 11 with one abstention.*

Recreational use also taken into account*

The control of production and trade should be ensured by the authorities, in particular to protect young consumers. The medical and non-medical markets should be separated.*

The objective is to dry up the black market by abolishing prohibition, says the text. The project calls for the introduction of a tax and the regulation of advertising, as well as measures to control production for personal use.*

For the commission, it is “essential” that the future law takes into account the results of ongoing pilot projects on the non-medical use of cannabis. It attaches great importance to the fact that the protection of minors and prevention are improved.*

A long process*

The development of the new legislation will take a long time, the National Health Committee announced in April. It could take years before it is liberalized. Once the project has been elaborated, a broad consultation should be launched, and the Federal Council could take a position before Parliament takes up the subject, and then the people in the event of a referendum.*

Cannabis has been banned in Switzerland since 1951. In principle, it can neither be cultivated, nor produced, nor sold. Consumption is punished since 1975.*

Despite this, about 300’000 people regularly use cannabis as a psychoactive substance in Switzerland. The Federal Council acknowledged in a position paper this summer that the current prohibition, which aims to protect the population, is not effective.*

Consumption is not decreasing and the black market is growing. In this context, there is no quality control or consumer protection.*

No scientific basis*

Finally, for the supporters of a revision of the law, the distinction between cannabis and “legal drugs” is not based on recent science, “especially since the harmfulness of tobacco and alcohol is no less”.*

Heinz Siegenthaler believes that the arguments used by the proponents of prohibition hold less and less on the moral and legal level. In his view, only a regulated market would meet the requirements of Switzerland’s drug policy.*

* original article

** image

*** ndlr. : –.

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Cannabinoid concentrations in confiscated cannabis samples and in whole blood and urine after smoking CBD-rich cannabis as a tobacco substitute

International Journal of Legal Medicine logo
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Impact of smoking cannabidiol (CBD)-rich marijuana on driving ability

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Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition

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Orally administered cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce false‐positive tests for THC on the Securetec DrugWipe® 5S or Dräger Drug Test® 5000

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Simulated driving performance among daily and occasional cannabis users

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