The European Parliament passed a resolution that would help advance medical cannabis in member-countries of the European Union. This resolution emphasizes the need for the unification and standardization of medical cannabis products.
More specifically, the members of the European Parliament voted on a resolution that calls on the EU member-states and the European Commission to provide a legal definition and to draw a clear distinction between the medical cannabis that has been approved by regulatory bodies, the medical cannabis that is not supported by clinical trials, and other cannabis applications.
The resolution comes after the World Health Organization’s recommendation that cannabis be rescheduled to reflect the drug’s potential medicinal effects. The WHO is proposing to downgrade cannabis from its current Schedule IV category under the international drug treaty — which is the most restrictive category — to Schedule I.
Make way for scientific research!
The resolution is non-binding, but it seeks to incentivize European countries to increase public access to medical cannabis and to prioritize clinical studies and scientific research.
Members of the European Parliament want the Commission and the EU countries to address the regulatory, financial, and cultural barriers that hinder scientific research on cannabis and its medicinal applications.
More calls to action
The Commission and the members of the European Parliament underscore the importance of:
- defining the conditions that are needed to allow independent scientific research on medical cannabis.
- improving equal access to cannabis-based medications and to appropriate case-specific cannabis therapies.
- closely coordinating with the WHO so they can have comprehensive information about the full spectrum of cannabis strain profiles.
- providing proper training to medical professionals.
- ensuring the sufficient availability of medical cannabis products.
- ensuring that safe and controlled medical cannabis can only be in the form of cannabis-based products that have gone through clinical trials, assessment, and regulatory approval.
Not very soon yet
However, because the measure is not exactly a binding resolution but is more of a call to action, members states are not expected to immediately implement changes.
For now, the resolution will serve as a good reminder to reluctant members states that they belong to the global European Union system and should, therefore, take relevant steps to provide patients with equal access to medical cannabis. It will also be useful for cannabis advocates who are calling for a harmonized legal framework for medical cannabis consumption.