Since Jan. 1, doctors and pharmacies in Denmark are permitted to prescribe cannabis-based drugs. The move was part of the Danish government’s four-year initiative to experiment with medical marijuana.
The initiative received a $34 million grant and $7.7 million in additional funds for research. Patients who have multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, chronic pain, and chemotherapy-induced nausea were the four main targets. However, doctors were “allowed to prescribe medical cannabis to patients with other conditions if it can be professionally justified,” Healthcare Denmark said.
But so far, doctors are shying away from prescribing medical marijuana, saying there has not been sufficient research on medical cannabis.
“There is insufficient evidence of the drug’s efficiency, possible side effects, interactions with other drugs and long-term effects,” the chairman of the Danish Medical Association, Andreas Rudkjøbing, told the Finnish Hufvudstadsbladet daily.
Rudkjøbing criticized the Danish media for backing medical marijuana despite Denmark’s medical circles expressing their skepticism in advance.
“This is a political project they have started in Denmark. There is no scientific support for taking cannabis as a drug as of now,” Rudkjøbing argued.
Polls show that about 88 percent of Danes support medical marijuana, and believe it will pave the way for it becoming legalized.
So far, medical marijuana is imported from the Netherlands and sold in the form of oil and tea. But there are plans to make medical marijuana manufacturing as a priority for Denmark.
There are already 15 companies who have already applied for a license to grow hemp.