When it comes to medical marijuana, Israel is very much ahead of the curve. In America, medical marijuana is considered by the federal government to have 'no medical value.' The sad irony being that the United States government holds medical marijuana patents, grows medical marijuana at the University of Mississippi, and supplies that medical marijuana to four federal medical marijuana patients. Compare that to Israel, where medical marijuana research is conducted above board, and the research is embraced. Recently the Health Ministry in Israel announced plans to expand who can prescribe medical marijuana. Per Haaretz:
The Health Ministry is to temporarily allow family doctors to provide their patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana. The ministry is trying to deal with the heavy load on pain clinics, the medical units that are allowed today to grant the prescriptions.
The new regulations will allow family doctors to write the medical cannabis prescriptions under two conditions: when it is an extension of an existing treatment, and only keeping to an existing dosage.
There are some 18,000 permits for the use of medical marijuana in Israel today, and this number is expected to grow to some 40,000 by 2018. Demand for medical cannabis in Israel has been rising steadily, and the list of conditions and treatments for which it is authorized has also been growing over time. Recently, medical marijuana was also authorized in the treatment certain types of epilepsy for children, as well as in cases of post traumatic stress disorder, in addition to a long list of diseases and conditions for which patients are allowed to use medical marijuana.
This is a great move by the Health Ministry. Anytime the pool of people that can approve medical marijuana is increased it's a great thing for patients. I wish more countries would follow Israel's lead when it comes to medical marijuana, especially the United States. Marijuana is medicine. Proven by the United States government's patents, cultivation program at the University of Mississippi, and people like Elvy Musikka, a federal medical marijuana patient who lives in my home state of Oregon.