Left MEPs host conference to explore medical uses of cannabis
On the last day of November the European Parliament United Left Group hosted a conference on the medical uses of cannabis. The conference was attended by a range international guests, including doctors, researchers and patients. Speakers and panellists included Alessandro Piccioli of the European Parliament Research Service, who will present EPRS’s study on the legal status of medical cannabis in the EU, as well as Belgian oncologist Dominique Lossignol, a specialist in cancer and pain treatment who prescribes medical cannabis to patients, and numerous other medical practitioners
The conference explored the uses of cannabis in the treatment of disease and alleviation of symptoms, as well as the regulatory framework in Europe and the world. With decriminalisation sweeping the United States, participants looked at best practice examples from some countries and prospects for the future in this field.
Stelios Kouloglou MEP from Greece’s Syriza called for an end to the stigma surrounding cannabis in the EU. “It is time for the EU to adapt to the new situation as evidenced by research on the therapeutic properties of cannabis and the major economic opportunities it has brought to non-EU countries,” he said
Stefan Eck, MEP from Germany’s Die Linke added that “The use of cannabis as a remedy is not new. This natural medicinal plant has been used for medical purposes for 5000 years. Cannabis should be used legally for medical treatments, for pain therapy in cancer patients and for diseases that severely limit quality of life. “ Eck went further than that, arguing that “it’s time for the decriminalisation of cannabis. Through legalisation, countless people in Europe would escape prosecution. The sale of cannabis should be legalised throughout the EU, especially since cannabis has a lower potential to cause harm than alcohol or nicotine.”