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Legalization of medical cannabis: why doctors and patients "for"?


At the present time, it is not necessary to focus attention on making changes to the laws of Ukraine - this is extremely long. There is a much simpler and more effective way - to make changes to the key resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, in which the use of hemp for leaves and inflorescences for medical purposes, in dried straw whose content of tetrahydrocannabinol does not exceed 0.08 percent.

The corresponding petition on the Verkhovna Rada website only a week ago garnered more than 14 thousand votes. True, not everything here is so unambiguous ...

Recently in Ukraine again came to active discussions about the necessity to legalize medical cannabis (psychotropic drugs obtained from hemp) and even more - the corresponding petition has already appeared on the website of the Verkhovna Rada of January 30. In less than a week, the petition collected more than half of the required votes - 14,354 of the required 25,000. In support of the petition is already voiced in. Minister of Health Ulyana Suprun, pointing out that medical cannabis helps to alleviate suffering and normalize the state of health in a number of serious diseases and conditions. About what and on what medical cannibis works and who thinks about its legalization of doctors and what perspectives of such a decision in Ukraine, Ukrinform has found out.

To help relieve suffering, you can have cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease

Medical cannabis can primarily help in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (slows progression) and epilepsy (reduces the frequency of attacks). As a palliative care (relief of suffering) it in other countries appoint patients with cancer. It is these groups of patients who are now most interested in its legalization. Also, according to the MOH, it is used in chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, in particular, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (50% of patients with Crohn's disease have completely recovered, and 90% have experienced significant improvements), multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic syndrome, anxiety, depression, etc. . That medical cannabis also has side effects - dizziness, indifference, memory impairment and addiction, effects on cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and the physician must weigh all the risks and decide on the appointment of such drugs.

Initiators of the petition emphasize: the use of hemp-based medicines is regulated by the laws of many countries - Canada, the USA, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden , Switzerland, Great Britain, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Poland and others, where scientific work on studying the healing properties of hemp has been continuously continued. In Ukraine, however, cannabinoids are prohibited, and even scientists and doctors who are investigating their therapeutic value even criminal liability. In our country, hemp cultivation is currently only permitted for industrial purposes. Those patients who could relieve their condition with medicines based on medical cannabis are waiting for its legalization, as emotionally wrote to Facebook Facebook Nadiya Palivoda, a public eco-activist NGO "Planting Kropyvnitsky":

"My mother, sick of cancer, cannabis saved from death. Twice. She twice undergone chemotherapy, and after it, as it often happens, she could not eat anything, she was constantly bored. Saved the medical marijuana (in the same sense as cannabis, crushed parts of the hemp - Ed.). The prescription is prescribed by the doctor, and there is a strictly defined dose. You need to use it in the pharmacy, there is a special room for such patients. The worker is preparing a device for inhalation - with a pair, something like a hookah. It's no secret that marijuana awakens the appetite. Mom started to eat well. There were forces. Because of this she survived. " This was told by an American who came to Kropyvnitsky for her educational program. I could not tell this to her. My mother died after chemotherapy. She could not eat anything for three months. Her body did not take anything and did not even take the form of food. For three months, I watched her dying. I hope that thanks to Ulyana Suprun, our citizens will have the same right to life as people in all civilized countries. "

In general, in society, the attitude toward the legalization of medical marijuana is still controversial, which is particularly noticeable in the comments on the Web. There is a fear that in this way many people will have access to cannabis that allegedly cause an increase in drug addiction. Dmitry Sherembey, chairman of the Coordinating Council of the BO "100% of life" and one of the authors of the petition, convinces: the cannabis has been on the black market for a long time, and its legalization is unlikely or change something in volumes. But it is the black market that will rely on it most, because from the lack of relatives of sick people (first of all it is about those who suffer from cancer or epilepsy) they go there with medicines for medical cannabis, but they would like to do it legally.

"We hope that by signing the petition, people will learn to influence the legislative changes in Ukraine in a civilized way. It is a symbolic test of tolerance and understanding, since many people, including children, live with diseases whose development can not be controlled. At the same time, any deputy may already come forward with such a legislative initiative. Voting by deputies for such a decision will be able to reduce the number of attacks of epilepsy in a child from tens of times a day to zero, helping a person with cancer pain to cope with unbearable pain. We are talking about the fact that if the state system can not offer people methods of treating or relieving pain, then at least it should not prevent it from seeking paths. I think that we already have enough maturity for this at the political and practical level, "says Dmitry Sherembe.

Doctors: the main thing - to establish tight control, and there will be no problems

Having interviewed the medical specialists, we did not find those who expressed categorically against the legitimization, or rather, of decriminalization, of medical cannabis. Specialists emphasize that the most important will be the establishment of control over the circulation of such drugs.

Oleg Chaban, Head of the Department of Medical Psychology, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy of the Medical and Psychological Faculty of the OO Bogomolets National Medical University, MD, professor, psychiatrist, psychotherapist and clinical psychologist says that his attitude to the legalization of medical cannabis is balanced:

"According to statistics, every 45 years in medicine denied half of the actual knowledge. It can not be said that the emergence of any new drug or an appeal to old drugs for a new purpose, solves all problems, the same applies to cannabis. The same scientific publications that we know in the countries where cannabis is authorized for medical purposes describe cases without sufficiently deep statistical processing of the results of its use as a pain reliever, in Alzheimer's disease, other organic brain lesions, epileptic illness. And to the end, explain what and how it works, researchers can not yet.

On the other hand, as a doctor, I can cite other facts that suggest that simply smoking "grass" with non-medical use at the level of mischief can lead to disaster, that is to irreversible mental disorders. I encountered cases where children who went abroad to study abroad in Britain and Holland returned with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Of course, not everyone goes crazy after having smoked marijuana, and that is why its legalization is an ambiguous issue. So, I am very cautious about this topic, but I do not reject the idea that if we can bring something new and useful to patients where we are helpless, with the same Alzheimer's disease, where there seems to be no progress in the next 50 years, then I think it's worth try. The only thing that should be the very strict control of patients by doctors, the limited circulation of such drugs and the legal responsibility of doctors who appoint them. "


Tina Beradze, a well-known psychiatrist, psychotherapeutist, medical psychologist, a member of the Harvard Graduate School Alumni Association, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the International Charitable Organization Mental Health Initiative, believes that decriminalization of medical marijuana is needed.

"However, our society does not quite distinguish what medical marijuana is and what it is, marijuana, which is sold outdoors. In the black market, chemically processed marijuana prevails, for example, with formaldehyde, which enhances its effect and causes it to become addictive. And pure medical marijuana, which is decriminalized in many countries, is better than synthetic substitutes. We know that cannabis is first of all a good anesthetic. It is also used for epilepsy, cataract, post-traumatic syndrome. But my worst place is cancer patients. I work very hard with such patients, and I know that oncology is in our very poor condition. But medical cannabis can help them, in addition, the latest statistics appeared recently that 70% of women with breast cancer have a chance to cure with medical cannabis without chemotherapy.

But we still have the remnant of the Soviet era, when everyone was afraid of psychologists, psychotherapists ... And the same can be said about medical cannibis - while society will not understand what it is, it will be difficult for it to convince them to accept it. Should I be afraid of addiction? This is like a good Georgian wine. One glass a couple of times a week will not harm, but if you drink a whole box of wine - then the consequences are clear. The same can be said about medical cannabis. In terms of dependence, a more dangerous legal drug, which is at every turn - alcohol. Alcoholism, by the way, is not treated. One can even save a person from heroin dependence, but completely deprive her of alcohol - no. "


Yuri Pakin, head of the Center for Dependence Therapy, Professor, Doctor of Medicine, Narcologist says he is a categorical opponent of the legalization of recreational marijuana (for rest), but supports the legalization of medical. "It needs a lot of people, and the fact that its use is legalized in many countries is evidence of its effectiveness. Generally, in medicine, legal drugs for opium groups such as morphine, tramadol have long been legalized. So it's logical that medical marijuana, which is considered easier, can also be legalized.

Can it be harmful? Almost all medications have limitations on dosage and duration of use, even vitamins. This also applies to marijuana - abuse can lead to addiction. Moreover, it gives a person a sense of pleasure, and this condition can cause a person's desire to continue to use the drug. Therefore, access to such drugs should be limited and controlled. If you organize the sale of medical marijuana, but do not provide tight control - it certainly can create a threat. On the other hand, the opposition to the legitimization of medical marijuana is also possible on the part of pharmacists whose preparations will compete with her. "

Anastasiya Lobazov, a psychologist-psychotherapeutist, a specialist in psychosomatics, told about the peculiarities of perception of the possible legitimation of medical marijuana by our society.

"The problem of perceiving the social use of cannabis in medicine is not so much related to the plant itself, but with manipulative synonyms" narcotic substance "and" dependence ". Stereotyped thinking, which helps us make decisions in situations where we do not have time to analyze and study the essence of the question, in this case plays not in the best of the person. Some people suffer from ignorance - those for whom it is extremely important, because the drugs of cannabis are more effective and less toxic than many of those who are seriously ill treated now.

When we hear about the legalization of marijuana in medicine, many imagine a young man who, for false information, is buying that "grass". While it is a medical form (preferably pills) with a specific active ingredient. This is how to compare medical purified caffeine containing pharmaceuticals with caffeine in tea that we drink on a daily basis.

Informing and people's faith in the law are the only keys that will help hundreds of thousands of patients with cancer, people with epilepsy and diabetes, various brain work abnormalities and unbearable pain syndrome to receive natural and effective treatment with minimal harm to health. "


President of the Association "Ukrainian Technical Hemp" Alexander Ignatyuk emphasizes that Ukraine has already withdrawn varieties of technical hemp of therapeutic orientation, and therefore for a positive decision on legalization, it will be important to develop own production rather than purchase expensive imported drugs:

"There is an experience in Ukraine that the appropriate plants and catalysts are added to the green mass, and the extracurricular substance that is currently banned by law is extremely effective in the treatment of extremely severe, in particular, chronic diseases.

At the present time, it is not necessary to focus attention on making changes to the laws of Ukraine - this is extremely long. There is a much simpler and more effective way - to make changes to the key resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, in which the use of hemp for leaves and inflorescences for medical purposes, in dried straw whose content of tetrahydrocannabinol does not exceed 0.08 percent. Experience has shown that the CPMU is being reviewed and taken within 4-5 months. In fact, in the event of such changes taking effect, since July 2019, our country's citizens can be treated with a "green mass" of therapeutic hemp, and from April 2020, he who wants will be able to grow non-gash varieties that have a significant therapeutic effect in In case, if they make the necessary documentation in such cases ". 

Julia Gorban
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