Luxembourg’s medical cannabis program is off to a flying start treating 270 patients in a matter of months.
Such has been the demand, the Health Ministry has asked doctors to put a temporary embargo on new patient access, whilst it secures additional supplies. This comes just weeks after Luxembourg announced it would be the first European country to legalize recreational cannabis.
Target Exceeded By One-Third
In February this year the tiny country, with a population of 600,000 squeezed between Germany, France and Belgium, announced a five-month trial of medical cannabis with the Government anticipating some 200 patients coming forward.
However, this target has been exceeded by over one-third, with 270 currently on the programme, reports RTL Today.
Whilst many in the U.K. will applaud its vigour in embracing cannabis medication they will also undoubtedly hang their heads in shame in comparison with the sorry situation in their home country.
Whilst it is still unclear as to the exact number of NHS prescriptions, as there are no published figures, those with a close knowledge of the system believe it is still no more than a handful.
Doctors Too Arrogant
Many will ask why the U.K. medical profession has not been able, or is simply unwilling to embrace medical cannabis. And the most common response to this is that U.K. medics are ‘too arrogant’ to embrace overseas trial data – and quite simply ‘do not like being told what to do’.
“There is a certain arrogance amongst British doctors and the British medical hierarchy that only British evidence counts and they can dismiss evidence from other jurisdictions, which is sad,” he said.
Open Mind To Drugs
Luxembourg has taken steps to address its current shortage of cannabis medication by signing and additional contract with Canadian firm Canopy Growth, said Minister of Health Etienne Schneider.
It is also asking doctors not to put anyone else on cannabis medication until the shortage is rectified, although the Health Minister went on to say he does not not believe those receiving treatments will be affected by the shortages.
Luxembourg’s strict guidelines allow medical cannabis for terminal or advanced illnesses that cause chronic pain; mainly for cancer patients, undergoing chemotherapy, and MS patients.
Over the summer Luxembourg announced plans to legalise cannabis within two years, with Mr Schneider said: “Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs,” reports The Guardian.