Aangezien Stichting PGMCG nogal wat vragen krijgt ook uit andere landen in Europa, hier de status van Polen kort samengevat.
Medicinale cannabis zou in geheel Europa beschikbaar moeten zijn in elke vorm, voor iedereen die het nodig heeft.
We krijgen vragen over hoe ze aan cannabisolie kunnen komen voor hun kinderen met ernstige aandoeningen, ook hoe men aan medicinale cannabis kan komen van Bedrocan.
Een 5 jarige patiënt uit Polen krijgt legale cannabisolie
Cannabis is illegaal in Polen en er is geen medicinaal cannabisprogramma beschikbaar voor patiënten die mogelijk profiteren van deze multifunctionele plant. En ondanks dat het Poolse constitutionele hof de overheid in november 2014 heeft opgedragen om werk te maken van de legalisatie van medicinale cannabis, is er nog steeds niets veranderd.
Activisten en patiënten kregen recentelijk goed nieuws toen Maks, een 5-jarige jongen die lijdt aan medicatieresistente epilepsie, toestemming kreeg voor een behandeling met cannabisolie, onder supervisie van een arts van het Child Health Center. Sindsdien hebben 17 andere jonge patiënten, voor wie conventionele medicatie niet werkt, toegang gekregen tot medicinale cannabisolie.
Echter zijn er nog steeds heel veel patiënten die geen reactie ontvangen van de Poolse overheid. Dit heeft hen ertoe aangezet om zelf naar bronnen voor medicinale cannabisolie te zoeken. Een van deze bronnen is Jakub Gajewski. Hem hangt een gevangenisstraf van 15 jaar boven het hoofd wegens het importeren van 900ml cannabisolie voor de behandeling van patiënten, en zijn eigen ouders.
Het is te hopen dat ook in Polen de legalisatie in stroomversnelling gaat
Cannabis in Poland is illegal, with no medicinal cannabis program in place for patients who could potentially benefit from the multi-purpose plant.
But things are changing in Poland. Activists and patients recently rejoiced when Maks, a 5 year old suffering from medication-resistant epilepsy, was allowed to be treated legally with cannabis oil under doctor supervision at the Child Health Center.
Dorota Gudaniec, Maks’ mother, fought hard to be able to give her son the best treatment and only treatment that works: cannabis oil.
Seventeen other young patients who conventional medicine did not give any hope are now also treated with medicinal cannabis oil.
And while Maks and seventeen other patients can now be treated legally with cannabis oil, other patients are still left in the dark by the Polish government and have started to act on their own.
In November, the Constitutional Court did order the government to deal with the legalization of medical cannabis issue. But changes have yet to be seen.
And so Jakub Gajewski, now faces up to 15 years in prison. Jakub is the vice president of the “Free Hemp” association and was arrested for importing 900 ml of cannabis oil. That illegal oil was used in the treatment for his parents and many other patients.
Warsaw Children’s Health Centre Uses Cannabis for Treatment
In recent months nine children in Warsaw Children’s Health Centre have been treated for drug resistant epilepsy with medical cannabis. The doctors report that the initial results are promising – the number of seizures decreased by up to 90 percent. A major problem with popularising the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of patients is Polish law.
A neuroscientist at the Department of Neurology and Epileptology of “Child Health Memorial” Institute Dr. Marek Bachański has been treating a group of children with drug resistant epilepsy for several months. The first patient in this group was a 5-year-old Max, who had up to 200-300 seizures a day. At the end of September last year, the boy began the medical marijuana treatment and the number of seizures decreased by approximately 90%.
“For us, it turned out to be a chance for normal life,” Dorota Gudaniec, mother of one of the patients said.
A significant reduction of seizures has also been observed in some of Bachański’s other patients. In total, during the last months, nine children have begun treatment with marijuana. Dr. Bachański acknowledged that parents frequently ask about this form of treatment. “Sometimes I suggest it myself, but I never try to enforce it,” he added.
During the debate on the use of medical marijuana, organised by the Polish Drug Policy Network, Dr. Bachański stressed that the existing research on the effectiveness of the use of marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy in children was carried out on a small group of patients, but confirmed “high efficacy of medical cannabis.” He added that the side effects of this treatment are few, the worst are drowsiness, fatigue and appetite abnormalities.
In order to use medical marijuana doctors had to apply for a so-called target import, which means bringing foreign drug for a particular patient. Import is carried out based on detailed and verified doctor’s recommendations. In this case, the request had to be confirmed by a consultant in the field of pediatric neurology, and then sent for approval to the minister of health. After authorisation to import the drug, the doctor has to write a prescription which is then fulfilled in a Dutch pharmacy.
The former Minister of Health, Marek Balicki pointed out that marijuana is a “very safe, very effective and very inexpensive drug.” He added that the situation in which the drug can be used only after target import procedures is “absurd”, and there should be an amendment to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction clearly indicating that marijuana can be used for medical purposes.
Legal for medical purposes?
In November last year, the Constitutional Court found the provisions on punishment for the cultivation of cannabis for personal use and possession to be compatible with the Constitution. At the same time, however, the Court said that it saw no grounds to ban marijuana possession for medical purposes. It assessed that there is no justification for the ban on marijuana when it comes to, for example, terminal stages of treatment.
Amended in 2011, the Drug Addiction Prevention Act introduced the possibility, in some cases, of withdrawing charges for possession of minor amounts of drugs for personal use. The proceedings can also be redeemed before the decision to initiate an investigation or inquiry.
Considering social attitudes towards cannabis in Poland, it’s unlikely we will see changes in the law concerning it’s medical usage any time soon.
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