Currently, the debate surrounding the legalization and use of cannabis has gained significant relevance in various parts of the world. While an increasing number of countries have legalized its therapeutic use, many nations still maintain restrictive laws that hinder patients’ access to this treatment alternative. In this article, we will examine whether legislation regarding medicinal cannabis is, in some cases, violating people’s rights to access medicine and to make their therapeutic choices.
The gap between legislation and scientific evidence:
One of the main points of discussion is the discrepancy between existing laws and the growing scientific evidence supporting the therapeutic use of cannabis. Numerous studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of this plant in alleviating various medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, and neurological disorders. However, many legal systems continue to consider cannabis as a dangerous substance without medical value, which contradicts the available evidence.
Limited access to medicine:
Restrictive laws prevent those who could benefit from medicinal cannabis from accessing it safely and legally. As a plant that can be grown at home and can provide relief for various medical conditions, current laws violate people’s rights by not allowing them to cultivate it in the privacy of their own homes. It is ironic that those who resort to home cultivation or the production of oils and extracts may face possible legal sanctions.
Human rights and freedom of therapeutic choice:
Access to medicine, including cannabis, is a fundamental human right. Restrictive laws that impede access to safe and effective medical treatments constitute a violation of this right. Every individual should have the freedom to choose the treatment they consider most suitable for their medical condition, in consultation with healthcare professionals. Denying them this option limits their autonomy and well-being.
The need for legislative change:
It is time for the legal system to catch up with reality and adopt a more progressive approach to medicinal cannabis. This involves reviewing and reforming current laws to allow for safe and legal access to this therapeutic alternative. Clear and evidence-based regulations must be established to ensure adequate quality, safety, and control in the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis.
Many healthcare professionals practicing today have not been trained or instructed in the use of cannabis as a medical alternative. This includes professionals in psychiatry. This is because scientific discoveries regarding the medicinal applications of this plant are relatively recent, and universities have not yet incorporated literature containing this information into their curricula. Of course, there are many doctors and scientists who are aware of the benefits of cannabis, but this knowledge has been gained through their own curiosity and research, rather than being dictated by an educational institution.
Cannabis in Barcelona:
In our city, for example, we have had cannabis dispensaries and weed clubs for years, where people can consume cannabis in a social setting without breaking the law. It is also possible for those of us who live here to cultivate the plant and consume it in our homes. However, there are still not many countries and cities that are relaxing their cannabis legislation.
Once it has been proven that a substance serves as medicine, especially if it is something natural like a plant, it becomes part of the patient’s choice whether they want to use it for treatment. The law cannot prohibit the use of such a substance but should regulate it. We can only hope that in the coming years, legislation will be reviewed, and access to cannabis products, even for medicinal purposes, will be allowed for the entire population.