Updated on January 28, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Whether you’re a patient, caregiver or practitioner, it’s vital to understand the medical marijuana program implemented by Greece. Since the legalization of medical cannabis in 2017, the government has worked to establish a comprehensive program that provides a convenient process to patients and their families.
For many countries where recreational cannabis remains illegal — like in Greece — medical marijuana cards are a necessity. Greece, however, does not include them in their medical marijuana program. Instead, the country uses prescriptions and allows only processed forms of medical cannabis.
The advantage of medical marijuana cards, however, is that they provide patients and caregivers a quick way to provide identification to law enforcement. With prescriptions, it’s common for the paperwork to become lost or damaged. Plus, they’re much easier to replicate than a medical marijuana card.
Due to Greece’s approach to medical marijuana cards, you don’t have to worry about applying or renewing one. Instead, your focus should be on developing a comprehensive treatment plan with your physician. To begin that process, schedule an appointment with your doctor — if a specialist manages your condition, visit them.
During your appointment, you and your physician will discuss several factors. You’ll review your current and past treatment plans, as well as your medical history since developing your qualifying condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Expect to share your experience with any treatment plans, too.
If your physician feels medical cannabis is a viable treatment option for you, they’ll proceed in writing a prescription and keep you updated on the pharmacy’s efforts to obtain your medicine — orders for medical marijuana must undergo a multi-step process for approval and fulfillment.
Since Greece’s medical marijuana program does not entail medical marijuana cards, you don’t have to stress about renewing your card. However, you will have to renew your prescription for medical marijuana. As a Table B substance, prescription lengths for medical cannabis are shorter than those for other medicines.
Depending on your prescription, the duration may vary. In most cases, however, it’s valid for a month — which may coordinate to a single fulfillment. As a result, you’ll need to maintain a schedule for meeting with your physician.
On the plus side, appointments for prescription renewals are often brief — your doctor’s goal is simply to assess your current treatment and its effectiveness. If you cope with chronic pain, for instance, and discover your dosage lowers your pain level but doesn’t remove it, your physician may prescribe a higher dosage.
Greece does not require its doctors to complete additional training and certification to prescribe medical cannabis. As a Table B substance, any licensed practitioner may prescribe medical marijuana. The drawback to this approach, however, is that many in the medical community are undereducated about medical cannabis.
That’s why it’s essential — as a patient or caregiver — to see a physician who’s knowledgeable about medical marijuana and its use in treating a range of conditions, specifically yours or your loved one’s. If you ever feel like your doctor isn’t informed about this treatment option, consider asking for a referral to one who is.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we offer a valuable set of resources to patients and physicians across the world. Whether you’re residing in Greece, Macedonia, Italy or another country, we can help you learn about medical cannabis and its role in medicine today.