The Civil Coordination Service for Drugs (KCKT) has issued a resolution on the medical use of cannabis. The organisation believes that a well-functioning basis should be established in Hungary just like in the Czech Republic and Poland.
In the Czech Republic, specific doctors have been able to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes since 2013. However, the legal and institutional framework for this medical use needs to be developed. This gives patients access to medicines made from cannabis or containing the active ingredients of cannabis, writes Telex.hu.
“As international good practice shows, safe and effective medicines can now be made from both the cannabis plant and its synthetically produced active ingredients, which can alleviate the suffering of many people with serious chronic diseases for whom traditional medicines have not worked,” writes KCKT in its communication.
Most commonly, cancer patients, those who have epileptic seizures, anxiety, or eating disorders use cannabis.
Moreover, it can also be useful for sleep disorders, certain nervous system diseases, such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and atrophic diseases. More and more research is showing the benefits of cannabis. This includes reducing nausea and chronic pain. Side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, drowsiness, and long-term memory and attention deficit disorder.
In December 2020, the UN, on the recommendation of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the WHO, removed cannabis from the list of the most dangerous drugs. It is now listed as a drug with medical uses. Because of this, more research on the topic will be possible.
Hungary was the only EU member state to oppose the WHO proposal.
In addition to Hungary, Russia, Brazil, China, and Cuba also voted no. On the Hungarian side, it was Ferenc Dancs, Deputy Secretary of State for Migration, who voted. He justified his decision on the grounds that the decision would lead to an increase in cannabis use and violate the sovereignty of the member states. According to him, this is a drastic step towards drug liberalisation and intervention in national drug policy. The Hungarian government’s anti-drug strategy expired in 2020. The government’s own report is also far from the goal. There is less and less attention on prevention and research, but more and more people are going to jail for drugs.
Medical cannabis uses one of the ingredients in the cannabis plant, CBD. This should not be confused with THC. CBD is not addictive. So, using medical cannabis does not mean that weed would be legal.
The WHO does not deny the harms of cannabis use and the importance of regulation.
However, it recognises its usefulness for medical purposes. The amendment was also necessary because international regulations were obsolete. Cannabis can be addictive, but it is not known if there is a lethal dose. Thus, it is not worth listing it in the most dangerous category. KCKT finds it worrying that the Hungarian government has rejected the WHO’s proposal on ideological grounds, along with professionally unsubstantiated arguments. Also problematic is that
Hungary was the first to vote against the EU common position at the UN.
The medical use of cannabis dates back hundreds of years. It was used in Hungary until the 1930s. The first edition of the Hungarian Pharmacopoeia of 1871 lists 14 diseases and complaints in which the use of cannabis is justified. The European Commission, in line with the WHO’s position, stated that CBD should not be considered a drug. As a consequence, EU Member States cannot ban the marketing of legally produced CBD. It is also available to Hungarian doctors and patients, but due to the lack of information, few people have used this option.