Going Green: The Globalisation of Medical Marijuana
It should come as no surprise to any savvy investor that marijuana is big business nowadays. While the legalization of recreational cannabis use still has its pitfalls and limitations, due to a certain lack of clarity, many countries have embraced cannabis for medical purposes for some years.
Medical marijuana is still a controversial topic, yet there is substantial evidence that suggests that it can have a positive effect on a variety of medical conditions including glaucoma, anxiety, and depression. The drug’s ability to relieve pain also offers many benefits to those suffering from ailments such as chronic back pain and arthritis.
The United States are Leading the Way
In the United States (where the topic is highly debated) taxes have enabled the government to make improvements to other are as including hospitals and schools. But what about the rest of the world? While the United States is one of the most out spoken country on the use of medical marijuana it certainly is not the only country reaping the drug’s benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the other many countries that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and the attitude they have taken to legislation.
Europe is still on the Fence
The Europeans, for example, have been a lot more cautious. Despite being known (up until recently) for its ‘coffee shop culture’ and the use of recreational cannabis in specially designated areas, the Netherlands has not embraced cannabis for medical use as much as you might think it would. The government decided that only one company would regulate medical marijuana use and as such, many insurers do not have plans covering for marijuana use.
Equally, while some countries are trying to be progressive, there are some who have tied themselves up in so much legislation that medical marijuana is not really working as successfully as it could. The Czech Republic, for example, has placed many rules on the prescription of marijuana. It can only be prescribed by a selection of ‘experts’ who obtain it from only one source in the Netherlands. Like the Netherlands, medical marijuana is not covered by insurance. This combination of regulations has left the medical marijuana industry pretty much redundant.
France’s attitude to medical marijuana is slightly less conventional than its European neighbors. The sale of medical marijuana is still banned in the country, however, since 2013 pharmaceutical companies have been permitted to sell products with derivatives of marijuana as part of their ingredients. Sprays, teas, pills, medicines containing cannabinoids and products like CBD oil have been available through physicians. Other countries are now following the French approach.
The Rest of the World is Rapidly Catching on
In South America (possibly because the countries climates make marijuana far easier to grow) many countries have taken a far more relaxed attitude to legislation though far from all. Chile has approved medical marijuana since 2015 and is very tightly regulated. Only very specific conditions can be prescribed marijuana and some four thousand patients will be helped. Given that the population is approximately seventeen million. Medical marijuana is still a small time operation in Chile, but people are reaping the benefits.
One recurring pattern seen over time is that many countries have introduced medical marijuana legislation, and as a result, have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the drug. Colombia however, did things the other way round. Decriminalization occurred in 2012 followed up by the official use of medical marijuana in December 2015.
Of all the countries currently permitting the use of medical marijuana, Uruguay is probably the country with the most liberal laws, though many speculate that other countries will follow suit. As of 2012 Uruguay has completely legalized marijuana including cultivation and sale for medical and recreational purposes.
With many other countries considering marijuana as a legitimate medication for certain illnesses,it is safe to conclude that the war on cannabis is coming to an end. Meaning that governments can now look at how the sale of marijuana can not only benefit patients but the population as a whole.