A new cross-party European parliamentary group wants to help patients across the European Union get better access to medical cannabis and advance the EU’s cannabis resolution of 2019.
While the resolution was non-binding, it sought to encourage EU member states to increase access to medical cannabis. However, very little progress has been made since.
Legislation around medical cannabis varies from country to country, with some – like France and Denmark –just beginning to explore the option, while Germany has allowed doctors to prescribe cannabis-based drugs since 2017. Meanwhile, in Spain, medicinal cannabis remains illegal, with the Spanish Congress voting in May to set up a subcommittee to research the effect of regulated medical cannabis systems in other countries.
Socialist MEP Alex Agius Saliba (pictured), from Malta, wants to work towards harmonising laws across Europe, which is one of the reasons he is heading the cross-party group on medical cannabis.
Different levels of accessibility
“It doesn’t make sense to have different sets of rights, different levels of accessibility for a patient depending on where they come from,” he said.
He added that while there had been a lot of good developments and progress in member states with regards to patient access to cannabis, the focus should be on having a good policy at EU level.
The group plans to concentrate on the medicinal use of cannabis, not recreational use or other cannabinoids, such as CBD.
“We are going to only focus on patient’s rights,” he said, “so that we don’t have different sets of rights for different patients across Europe.”
The group, which includes about 40 members from Renew Europe, the Green Party, and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, will also consider research to “target and enhance the use of medical cannabis for particular types of conditions,” Agius Saliba said.
– Moriah Costa CBD-Intel contributing writer