Medicinal cannabis: why does prison remain an alternative to treatment in Italy?

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Vidmer Scaioli

Medicinal cannabis: why does prison remain an alternative to treatment in Italy?

Following the initiative of the Luca Coscioni Association to connect prescribing doctors with patients in need, about 20 patients preregistration and about 20 prescriptions have been made. Some particularly significative aspects: a) the positive correlation between the medical requests, supported by documented clinical diagnosis, and the possible prescription of cannabinoids for medicinal use; b) the use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes by patients whom had been refused prescriptions before, but at the same time the need of those same patients to obtain a medical prescription in order to avoid the judicial risk of having to buy cannabinoids on the black market; c) it must be noted that the average dose demanded by the clinical problems are higher than those allowed for personal use. 

Some patients have documented judicial problems of such nature that the perseverance in the use of cannabinoids for medical purposes but without proper medical prescription may represent a further aggravating element for their judicial condition. Some patients had already been certified as resisted to pharmaceuticals, which classifies as one of the criteria for access to cannabinoid medicines, so in these situations there really should be no problem for the Family Medic to prescribe cannabinoids as an alternative treatment. 

On the basis of this experience we retain that what we have argued before with regard to “preventive prescription” and “protective certification” has been confirmed and reinforced: the prescription allows patients to return within the confines of legality through the legal access to cannabinoids, and the certification for the protection of those patients that assumed cannabinoids prior to the morbid event.

Translation: Laura Harth


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