“amazing results”, “No traces of withdrawal effects – cannabis isn’t addictive”, “floodgates opening into cannabis research for multiple conditions”, “from MS to cancer, cannabis is the answer”
As we reported a couple of months ago, the legally approved cannabis extract ‘Sativex’ is now becoming widely available across Europe and the rest of the world. The latest stage of Sativex testing has involved over 1,500 patients across Europe. All feedback has been scrutinised by leading experts. The key findings confirm that cannabis is indeed highly effective as a medicine and is not addictive -unlike traditionally prescribed morphine derived painkillers and many other medicines.
In simple terms what this really means is that all the feedback so far is positive. Nothing, it seems, can now stop the widespread introduction of Sativex, not even the right wing prohibitionist politicians who have spent so long trying to convince everyone that cannabis is toxic and highly dangerous. So far Sativex has been exported to 28 different countries and that number seems sure to increase.
The reason I am so excited about the gradual approval and introduction of Sativex is that it is allowing marijuana to get mainstream medical and government acceptance. Sativex approval will also overturn the claims that weed leads inevitably to mental health problems. There are no Government warnings on Sativex bottles telling you that Sativex is dangerous and will lead to psychosis.
The arrival of Sativex will allow a formal recognition of everything that the medical marijuana movement has been saying for years. Marijuana is a highly effective medicine for a range of conditions and it comes with no nasty side effects. It is not addictive; it will not cause a mental health crisis. Legal cannabis medicines in the local pharmacy signals the beginning of the end of the cannabis misinformation campaign. That is something to celebrate.
Sativex is basically no different to the cannabis tinctures that they were making in the 1930’s by soaking weed in alcohol and filtering it. Each oral spray (or ‘dose’) delivers 2.7mg of THC and 2.5mg of CBD. Costs per patient are currently around €500 per month. These costs will plummet when rival pharmacy companies decide to get in on the act. The manufacturing process clearly isn’t that complicated and the free market economy is ruthless in the pharmaceutical industry if you don’t have watertight patent protection. As the legal objections to cannabis medicines are systematically removed I am sure that within 10 years the Indian copycat pharmaceutical industry will have their own cannabis extract oral sprays at a fraction of the current prices. Just look at the number of Indian and Chinese manufacturers of cut-price Viagra rip-off pills. Cannabis medicines will be easy to make, you just need a few fields of weed and a few barrels of alcohol.
Fields of weed. Soon they will be planting this legally.
Some within the medical marijuana movement feel that it is wrong to allow a drug company charge punishingly high prices for a simple cannabis extract while prohibiting the public to grow and enjoy their own home grown weed. Of course they are completely correct. But I believe that by allowing the drug companies to press ahead with the formal approval of ‘legal’ cannabis medicines it will make it easier in the long run for the medical marijuana movement to succeed. After all, the drug companies have the political and financial influence to force governments to believe in the medical effectiveness of marijuana, and they can back it up with scientifically conducted drug tests to provide absolute proof. Sometimes you have to look at the wider picture. If all this allows medical marijuana to gain acceptance then I can live with some initial profiteering by the drug companies.
Dutch JoeNovember 11th 2011