Portuguese doctors aren’t open to the wonders of medicinal cannabis. This is the message coming ahead of a conference in Lisbon this weekend the organisers of which are reaching out to doctors to come on board, and at least learn how much this product legalised over a year ago can change the experiences of patients.
Says the Portuguese Observatory for Medicinal Cannabis ‘every day we receive appeals for help from patients’, but “only a few doctors are interested. We need a lot more”.
Says the Observatory’s president Carla Dias, medicinal cannabis can now legally be purchased online. Many who buy it for multiple reasons – from headaches to autism, to various types of cancer – would like a doctor to advise them on dosages, etc.
But because doctors are digging their heels in, almost every citizen here is left working treatment levels out on their own.
Said Dias, “sadly, there is still a lot of prejudice. You hear (disparaging) comments every day that you wouldn’t hear in other countries”.
The law may have been approved, she explains, but essentially this is meaningless. “There are no doctors prescribing it…”
Dias also warned that some products found online are better than others. It has been left to the Observatory to establish protocols with the Pharmaceutical Faculty in Lisbon and the Military Laboratory to “analyse the quality of products sold online” to give patients “some guarantee” until products become available in pharmacies.