Legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes in Spain.

The Catalan government has announced that it is about to sign an agreement with central government whereby a number of Catalonian pharmacies will supply cannabis to patients with a prescription. According to sources in the Catalonian regional health department, the text of the agreement has been finalised and is ready to be signed.

Cadena Ser reports that 4 hospitals and 60 chemists in Catalonia are to supply cannabis to patients of illnesses whose symptoms are apparantly relieved by use of the drug. According to a report carried out by the Official College of Chemists in Barcelona, 57 per cent of patients who consume cannabis to alleviate their symptoms, do not do so in a “correct” way because they lack official medical guidelines and provision.

According to sources quoted by the Ser, the agreement will allow cannabis to be prescribed to cancer patients (apparantly it helps to alleviate sickness caused by chemotherapy) and to combat anorexic symptoms in AIDS sufferers.

It will also be offered to multiple sclerosis patients suffering from muscular problems, and patients suffering chronic pain which does not respond to other conventional treatments.

The plan is expected to begin in the next few weeks and, if it proves to be successful, it could be extended to other Spanish regions in the near future. Cannabis will be available in leaf-form, as a herbal tea, a herb to add to food and also in capsule form.

The Catalan authorities have not said anything about what they plan to do in the event of the regional health service becoming overrun with thousands of eager teenagers from all over Spain flooding into Catalonia and seeking to register with a Catalonian doctor.