Updated on January 22, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Mexico has joined the ranks of nations around the world that are realizing the medicinal benefits of cannabis. On June 19, 2017, they legalized marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. This is a huge leap forward in this conservative nation where cannabis has been stigmatized for so long.
The next step is to work out the specifics of the country’s medical marijuana program. That task has been given to the Mexican Ministry of Health. In the coming months, they will be laying out the specific guidelines patients must meet to receive cannabis medication.
Because Mexico’s medical marijuana program is still in its initial development, the specific qualifications for patients have not been decided. There are several qualifying conditions in legal U.S. states and other nations, and Mexico will probably follow the lead of the other countries with established cannabis programs.
The push to legalize medical marijuana in Mexico came about because the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) gave special allowance for several young patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy to receive medical marijuana prescriptions. So, this condition will undoubtedly be included on their list of qualifying conditions.
Currently, patients can’t join the medical marijuana program in Mexico. However, as soon as the Ministry of Health sets official guidelines, patients will be able to pursue medical marijuana treatment.
It appears that Mexico’s program will likely resemble that of Finland and Uruguay. In these nations, patients go directly to their physician to receive a prescription for medical marijuana, meaning they do not need to apply for a card from the Ministry of Health.
If Mexico mirrors other countries that employ this process, patients will have to establish a bona fide relationship with the physician who prescribes their cannabis medication. Also, this physician will most likely need to be registered with the Ministry of Health and approved to prescribe marijuana.
The medical marijuana legislation in Mexico has two specific stipulations for patients who wish to receive a prescription for this form of medication:
COFEPRIS is now in the process of granting permits to both Mexican and international laboratories to produce cannabis medications for national pharmacies. As soon as prescriptions are issued to patients, they will go directly to these pharmacies to obtain their medical marijuana.
Because the medical marijuana program is not yet in place, even patients with qualifying conditions cannot legally obtain cannabis medication. However, once the Ministry of Health establishes set guidelines, patients will be able to visit their physician for a prescription.
As long as they carry this valid doctor’s prescription, they will be free of prosecution if caught by authorities with their cannabis medication. Also, recreational users detained with five grams of cannabis or less are not prosecuted due to a 2009 amendment that changed drug enforcement laws in Mexico.
MarijuanaDoctors.com is a vocal advocate for change in cannabis legislation in the U.S. and abroad. As the medical marijuana program continues to develop in Mexico, we will keep you updated on all the information you need to know.
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