Israel Relaxes Regulations On Medical Marijuana

image-medical-marijuana Israel’s recent decision to permit greater use of medical marijuana may relieve thousands suffering from chronic pain.

Cannabis is known to give blessed relief from the pain of cancer. Yet the plant helps people suffering from many other ailments, such as multiple sclerosis, colitis, neurological pain, and post-trauma stress disorder. Until now, the herb has not been in the first line of treatment for chronic pain. Rather, conventional medicine has viewed it as an almost last-resort method.

Take my friend Rivka. Crippled by polio at age 4, she suffers constant pain from atrophied muscles and deteriorating hip bones. But she’s a fighter. In spite of bad days that oblige her to trade a wheelchair for her usual crutches, she has earned a degree in social work, married and raised a family of her own, and in earlier years took an active part in her community. Now severe chronic pain has blocked this intelligent and resourceful woman’s ability to to enjoy life and be useful.

Rivka used every conventional method of pain relief before asking her doctors for medical marijuana. Her doctors wouldn’t consider it; getting pot for a patient seemed just too deviant. But in September of 2010, Israel’s Ministry of Health authorized  five hospitals to issue licenses permitting patients to buy marijuana at authorized outlets. In the future, the patients, who now undergo extensive bureaucracy to get those permits, will obtain them via an interview with the managers of their local health funds.

In addition, a new study recommends more extensive use of marijuana to manage severe chronic pain.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on a study recently conducted at the Sheba Medical Center in conjunction with the Israel Cancer Association, which involved 264 cancer patients who were treated with medical marijuana for a full year:

Some 61 percent of the respondents reported a significant improvement in their quality of life as a result of the medical marijuana, while 56 percent noted an improvement in their ability to manage pain. In general, 67 percent were in favor of the treatment, while 65 percent said they would recommend it to other patients.

The study concluded that more doctors should be prescribing cannabis. Given that cannabis is already proved to be effective, it’s time that people enduring severe chronic pain have access to it right away, instead of having to wait till they’ve tried everything else. We welcome the news that in Israel, times are changing in favor of this.

More on cannabis from Green Prophet:

:: Haaretz

Image of marijuana plant via Tikun Olam.

Miriam also blogs at Israeli Kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Israel Relaxes Regulations On Medical Marijuana

  1. daniel

    bring DOC GREEN’s Therapeutic Healing Cream to Israel! Its a topical cannabis lotion that is great for arthritis, tight and aching muscles, muscle cramps and spasms, and just about any other body ache or pain. Topical cannabis takes away pain directly at the source without getting you high. It really works, and almost instantly. you can check them out at docgreens.org.

    Reply
  2. Malcolm Kyle

    Some simple facts:

    * The involvement of the CIA in running Heroin from Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan and Cocaine from Central America has been well documented by the 1989 Kerry Committee report, academic researchers Alfred McCoy and Peter Dale Scott, and the late journalist Gary Webb.

    * A rather large majority of people will always feel the need to use drugs, such as heroin, opium, nicotine, amphetamines, alcohol, sugar, or caffeine.

    * Just as it was impossible to prevent alcohol from being produced and used in the U.S. in the 1920s, so too, it is equally impossible to prevent any of the aforementioned drugs from being produced and widely used by those who desire to do so.

    * Due to Prohibition (historically proven to be an utter failure at every level), the availability of most of these mood-altering drugs has become so universal and unfettered that in any city of the civilized world, any one of us would be able to procure practically any drug we wish within an hour.

    * The massive majority of people who use drugs do so recreationally – getting high at the weekend then up for work on a Monday morning.

    * A small minority of people will always experience drug use as problematic.

    * Throughout history, the prohibition of any mind-altering substance has always exploded usage rates, overcrowded jails, fueled organized crime, created rampant corruption of law-enforcement – even whole governments, while inducing an incalculable amount of suffering and death.

    * It’s not even possible to keep drugs out of prisons, but prohibitionists wish to waste hundreds of billions of our money in an utterly futile attempt to keep them off our streets.

    * Prohibition kills more people and ruins more lives than the prohibited drugs have ever done.

    * The United States jails a larger percentage of it’s own citizens than any other country in the world, including those run by the worst totalitarian regimes, yet it has far higher use/addiction rates than most other countries.

    * The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it.
    – H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American editor, essayist and philologist.

    Reply

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