Updated on January 31, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
San Marino has a commission of government officials working to create medical marijuana laws. Though we have yet to see whether this bill will involve a program for patients to join, it will likely establish some sort of formal structure.
The San Marino government may have approved of medical marijuana, but they have no plans to legalize recreational cannabis. Getting caught with marijuana can get you anywhere from a warning to imprisonment. Putting rules in place that let patients request medicinal cannabis treatment enables them to use medicine without worry.
Additionally, establishing a system for cannabis medicine creates reliable and safe sources. Without regulations, desperate patients must often get their medication from illegal vendors. Cannabis from illicit sources can be mixed with stronger and more dangerous drugs or come in low quality.
Whether via prescription, recommendation or medical marijuana card, medicinal cannabis laws often require patients to apply for a certifying document. Everyone has to get a prescription for stronger drugs, and countries with cannabis medicine create a similar process. But, some places require more steps than others.
If San Marino followed the lead of nations like the United States, they could ask patients to register for a medical marijuana card. In addition to getting approval from a doctor, the patient would need to submit extensive paperwork to the government. After the papers are processed, they receive a card showing their eligibility.
Or, they could follow in their neighbor Italy’s footsteps and merely require a prescription to get medical marijuana. When a patient has a qualifying condition, a doctor can consider cannabis medicine as a treatment option, just like any other pharmaceutical. Or, someone could do their own research and ask their doctor about their opinion.
Even with medications that don’t have cannabis in them, we need to renew our ability to get stronger kinds of medicine. No matter how San Marino decides to give access to medical marijuana, patients will need to complete some sort of recertification process. Reapplying not only helps patients maintain a record with government officials, but it also helps them stay in touch with their doctor.
Physicians may need to give approval on a regular basis, or patients might have to submit another application for a card. Regardless, you will likely have to visit your doctor often as a medical marijuana patient. Once you get approval from them, you can either use a prescription to get medicine or complete renewal paperwork.
Keep a detailed record of your treatment no matter how many times you have to visit your doctor. Keep track of any symptoms or side effects you experience and report them to your physician if they become dangerous.
Some nations only approve a select list of medical professionals who can authorize medical marijuana. These doctors usually go through specialized training that teaches them about the healing properties of cannabis. Other countries let any physician approve patients, as long as they do so in good faith.
No matter what San Marino decides to do, it would benefit patients and medical professionals to offer training. Since cannabis wasn’t considered a legal treatment in the past, most doctors probably don’t know much about its medical applications. Education lets physicians use medical marijuana to its full potential.
Since the San Marino government is still working on creating medicinal cannabis legislation, you can have a say in its development. Contact the San Marino Health Authority to learn which officials you can talk to about the subject. For information about other countries’ medical marijuana laws, be sure to check out our informative international pages.