14 February 2017
Interesting report via Merry Jane of the first baby steps by the Swedish govt on medical cannabis
For the first time, two patients, both victims of serious back injuries, have received permission from the Swedish government to use medical cannabis for chronic pain. Doctors applied to the Swedish Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency, or MPA) for a license to prescribe cannabis. Sweden is notoriously bullish towards cannabis users, and Reefer Madness-era attitudes still persist to this day.
Fredrik von Kieseritzky, a doctor of organic and medicinal chemistry, is the one who prescribed cannabis to the two patients. “I am happy that the MPA has taken the pragmatic step of making [cannabis] available for patients with chronic pain which no approved drug can relieve,” Von Kieseritzky told TT news agency. “It can be dissolved in butter and baked. Of course it can be smoked, but we advise strongly against this. For me, personally, it is important to keep a watertight distinction between medicinal and recreational cannabis,” he added.
The MPA stressed that the decision shouldn’t be mistaken for a general approval of all applications of cannabis. “There is clearly some potential for abuse,” MPA spokesman Karl Mikael Kälkner cautioned. “This is a drug that is illegal to possess and consume. But we have other medicines that are also classed as narcotics. If the rules are correctly followed then there is no reason that [cannabis] should not be used as a preparation in a clinical setting.”