Updated on December 20, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
While Estonia’s medical marijuana laws are straightforward, it’s essential to understand them. Whether you’re a caregiver researching medical cannabis for a loved one or are a patient yourself, knowing the limits and permissions of Estonia’s legislation will help you begin the processing of applying for medical marijuana.
The impact of Estonia’s medical marijuana laws on medical cannabis is substantial. According to the Ministry of Justice, patients may only use cannabis-based medications, such as Marinol, instead of medical weed in its fresh or dried form.
To use traditional medical pot, you and your physician must make a request to the State Agency of Medicines. This department will then coordinate with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) to determine if the need is justified. As a result, Estonia makes it difficult for patients to use and obtain medical cannabis.
Compared to other countries, Estonia’s medical cannabis program is nonexistent. Many patients, in fact, are unaware that Estonia even supports the use of medical weed due to the strict approval process and lack of promotion by state agencies.
This stance is why Estonia’s medical marijuana laws have an adverse effect on the country’s medical cannabis program. It’s a challenge for patients to take advantage of the program because of the requirements put before them, which are difficult to accomplish when battling a chronic illness. One of the most significant hurdles for patients is finding a doctor who is willing to write a prescription on their behalf.
Since the early 2000s, Estonia has worked to lessen the penalties for using marijuana. It decriminalized recreational and medical marijuana for amounts equal or less than 7.5 grams and legalized the use of medical weed under certain conditions.
Strict penalties, however, are enforced for carrying copious amounts of marijuana. Cultivating, storing or transporting cannabis can all result in extensive jail time, with sentences ranging from three to 20 years depending on the amount of marijuana.
Estonia’s medical marijuana laws limit its medical cannabis program in several ways. First, it’s inaccessible to most patients. The process is extensive and expensive, as your medicine must be imported and isn’t covered by insurance. Secondly, the program restricts what forms of medical marijuana you can access by focusing on cannabis-based prescription drugs rather than medical weed.
Because of Estonia’s approach to its medical marijuana legislation, it limits the growth and potential of its program, which could benefit not only patients, but also the country’s economy by encouraging producers and distributors of medical weed to build their businesses in Estonia.
While Estonia’s medical cannabis program is underdeveloped, it does work to protect patients and physicians. A multi-step vetting process ensures you and your doctor both understand the potential side effects and benefits of medical weed, especially in relation to your other treatment options.
By choosing licensed cannabis-based medications and conferring with the INCB, Estonia also makes sure you receive a high-quality medicine you can trust. This decision protects your health and provides you with excellent care.
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