3,000 medical cannabis patients in France will receive free weed for two years

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France has announced a medical cannabis trial that is expected to start in March 2021, will last two years and see 3,000 patients receive pharmaceutical grade cannabis products free of charge, The world reports.

The French Ministry of Health and Solidarity will oversee the trial, which was approved by the National Assembly in 2019. The program will focus on the effectiveness of cannabis therapy in treating conditions such as epilepsy, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, and side effects of chemotherapy, and will be limited to smokeless products like oils, tinctures and capsules.

Cannabis has been illegal in France for recreational purposes and banned for medical purposes since 1953. In September, the country implemented a fixed fine of 200 euros (approximately $ 300) for the consumption of cannabis, rather than placing individuals in detention.

Although the plant is widely consumed, not everyone is in favor of cannabis reform.

Last month, in an interview with The Parisian, Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of the Interior, described the legalization of cannabis as “shit”.

Darmanin is said to have said: “I cannot, as Home Secretary, as a politician, tell parents who are fighting to get their children out of drug addiction, that we are going to legalize this shit.

Others, like politician Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who has sat in the National Assembly since 2017, applauded the medical trial. “France must get out of prehistoric times when it comes to cannabis,” said Moreau, calling the plant a “drug that can also be a medicine”.

In January 2018, Denmark launched a similar trial, launching a four-year medical cannabis program, with many products imported from Canada.

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