A new report confirms that Israeli authorities will finally ease up on unnecessary red tape for medical cannabis patients, ensuring that the process for obtaining cannabis in the Jewish State will be expedited.
The Jerusalem Post reported that, as of August 2017, a total of 100 physicians in Israel will be able to grant licences for medical cannabis to patients, which will come directly from their health fund clinics. That is up from the current number of 70.
The new move was confirmed to the Knesset Committee on Drug Abuse by Health Ministry associate director-general Prof. Itamar Grotto on Tuesday.
Committee chairman MK Tamar Zandberg spoke about the new move: “The news that came out this morning from the ministry is encouraging, and we will continue to monitor and ensure that it is implemented,” she said.
Initially, the relevant authority in Israel will introduce a new system of medical cannabis distribution, to be integrated into health clinics there, at an investment of NIS 2 million. At the same time, according to Grotto, there will be double the number of clerks employed, in order to speed the whole process up for patients.
Zandberg spoke some home truths about the reason why medical cannabis prescriptions get bogged down in red tape so regularly, “Under the guise of ignorance and conservatism, the medical establishment treats patients as drug addicts and doctors as drug dealers, while narcotic drugs that are harmful and addictive are more freely distributed and in increasing doses,” she said.
Israel has been at the forefront of cutting-edge medical cannabis research and development for decades, and there are currently in the order of 28,000 patients allowed to obtain cannabis legally in Israel.
However, as Zandberg added, “Oncologists are licensed to approve patients’ use, but pain and palliative care specialists, psychiatrists, orthopedists and others are regarded by the ministry as second-rate who need to ask the ministry’s medical cannabis office head Dr. Michael Dor for approval. They have to fill out forms and send faxes and ask if they arrived.”
Professor Grotto pointed out to reporters that while things are not perfect in Israel for medical cannabis patients, Israel is doing a good job at attempting to make access easier and more straightforward, “Show me a country that is doing better than Israel in the field of medical cannabis. The situation is not perfect. There is a load of patients and the number of people treating them is inadequate,” he said.
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