Another Thing Europe Doesn't Agree On
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Another Thing Europe Doesn't Agree On');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Another Thing Europe Doesn't Agree On
Posted by CN Staff on November 27, 2009 at 04:56:44 PT
By Javier Espinoza
Source: Wall Street Journal
World -- Europe has yet to come up with a unified approach to medical marijuana. The Dutch will tell you it is legal to use the drug to treat certain illnesses; while the Swedish don't recognize any medical use for cannabis at all."European policy is not really changing at all and I don't think this issue is even on the European agenda. The topic is too controversial and too political," said Catherine Sandvos, a legal expert for the Hague-based Cannabis Bureau, a Dutch national agency aimed at providing high-quality cannabis for medical purposes.
Ms. Sandvos's native Netherlands has led Europe when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana, which it treats separately from marijuana legally available at one of Amsterdam's famous coffee shops. The Dutch police stopped enforcing laws against marijuana in 1976 following an overall tolerance policy in the country. "It's hard when you try to explain to outsiders that it is illegal to grow cannabis in the Netherlands, but that it is tolerated to buy it," she says.But those who buy the drug on the streets are not getting the quality severely ill patients would need. The Dutch government set up the Cannabis Bureau -- the only institution of its kind in the continent -- in September 2003."The state realized that so many people wanted to use cannabis, so it said 'why not give it to them via prescription instead of them accessing the drug illegally,' " Ms. Sandvos added.The Cannabis Bureau ensures that patients who have a prescription from a doctor are getting marijuana that has been tested to make sure it doesn't contain any pesticides or bacteria. Not only does the Cannabis Bureau sell cannabis across all pharmacies in the Netherlands through a prescription, but it also distributes the drug to Italy, Finland and Germany through the Ministry of Health of each country. According to the agency's data, it sells around 100 kilos of cannabis every year.The situation couldn't be more different in the U.K., where it is unlawful to self-medicate cannabis regardless of the disease people suffer from. In 2005, Barry Quayle and Reay Wales, who were both afflicted by serious and chronic conditions, found no relief in prescription drugs and turned to cannabis to alleviate their pain. But a U.K. court ruled against them."The whole debate in relation to the use of cannabis for medical purposes is highly politicized," said Daniel Godden, an associate solicitor for Hodge Jones & Allen LLP in London. Those who say marijuana is relatively safe can face severe political consequences. Last month, Professor David Nutt, the British government's chief drug adviser, was removed from his post after he said the drug was less harmful than alcohol.Favorable views toward cannabis face opposition from some local politicians and international lobbying groups. Jorgen Sviden, director of Stockholm-based European Cities Against Drugs, which represents 261 cities in 30 countries, isn't convinced of the drug's medical qualities."In principle, we don't have an argument against cannabis as a treatment, but we haven't seen any scientific evidence that provides a convincing argument for its medical use," he said. "If in the future we come across proof that cannabis is a good treatment, then this is good."Some initiatives have managed to stay away from the political debate, however. The U.K. happens to be home to GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, which manufactures a drug based on marijuana extract -- Sativex. Although it has some ingredients that derived from the actual drug, it has been treated by the U.K.'s regulators as a medicine like any other as it doesn't contain the psychotropic substances marijuana does. The company is preparing to launch the drug into other parts of Europe, in partnership with Germany's Bayer AG and Spain's Almirall SA.GW is hoping to sell its product, which will treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, across all countries in Europe but has initially filed for a license in the U.K. and Spain so far. Paul Cuddon, an analyst with KBC Peel Hunt in London, says he expects the drug to win approval in both countries in the first half of 2010 and then the firm will file for individual approval in each country."I'm not anticipating any legal problems in the rest of Europe at all," Mr. Cuddon added. "This is a treatment that is highly different from raw cannabis and it has undergone rigorous chemical trials."Other countries have tough stances, however. Ireland, for example, doesn't recognize marijuana as a drug with medical benefits. This means that manufacturing, producing, selling or possessing cannabis is unlawful for any purpose. The Ministry of Health is the only government branch that can grant an exception, but a spokesman said it never has.Noel McCullagh, 34, has learned this the hard way. An Irish citizen, Mr. McCullagh lives in the Netherlands, where he uses cannabis medication to treat the severe effects of his muscular dystrophy. However, Irish authorities have warned him that he will be arrested if he enters his native country in possession if cannabis-based treatment.In Sweden, the law doesn't recognize the cannabis to have any medical use.Beyond the debate of marijuana's use, Dr. Willem Scholten, of the World Health Organization, believes patients should have access to high-quality medicine. So if cannabis has medical attributions, "there needs to be a system in place to ensure that patients get their medicine without any contamination and that they get the same content every time."Despite the radically different approaches in Europe, some believe the continent will eventually adopt it as a medical treatment."I can imagine European citizens will eventually think cannabis is a good medicine and that it should be accessible to people who suffer from serious pain as a result of HIV, multiple sclerosis or other grave illnesses," said Brendan Hughes, senior legal analyst of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in Lisbon.Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A15Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: Javier EspinozaPublished: November 27, 2009Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #18 posted by mikeymacd on December 02, 2009 at 03:40:55 PT:
Back in the Empire.
Here things are much different. I can click on a small bookmark up there and read all day long; articles and atleast snippits on how people are finding sense. But whatever I learn, doesn't seem to click outside my front door.
I can still be snapped out a crowd and have my drugs stolen from me.
I have tried contacting anyone with any weight of word and had no response. The good Prof. Nutt is out for lunch.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by rchandar on December 01, 2009 at 11:43:05 PT:
Ministerial elections for France, the Netherlands, and the UK are 2011--for Germany, 2010. In the easiest terms to understand: those elections read as a barometer of how Obama is doing. Usually, presidential elections in the US favor the parties in Europe that are politically like the incumbent one in the US--that is, if things are going well. If Obama fails to make the US economy recover, then the conservatives will win big in 2010-11. If he's successful--by at least next summer--the social democrats and other liberals will make big gains.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by museman on November 28, 2009 at 13:40:22 PT
Kaptin- my unsubtle methodology ;-)
Heard here before... seems apt.(let page load -its embedded in the lyrics- as an attempt at streaming audio- I promise to change all my downloads eventually)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by kaptinemo on November 28, 2009 at 12:38:12 PT:
An analogy
Comparable to what MuseMan has said, in Vedic esoteric writings, very similar to ancient Greek ones, there's a delineation of population. It usually runs like this:Sleepwalkers - those who are unaware of anything outside the limitations of their senses, and tend to accept anything said to them uncritically, behave as they're told to, and generally conform to whatever the norm of society may be...regardless of whether it's actually in their best interests or not.The next, much smaller group are the Awakened. They've been roused from their somnambulism either from trauma caused by being a sleepwalker, or through application of rationality as opposed to blind emotionalism. Often this latter process is accompanied by intelligent, conscious use of psychotropics. Such people 'wake up', look around, and realize with a cold shock how much of a minority they are, realize that the population are largely somnambulists, try to 'awaken' their 'sleepwalking' sisters and brothers, and are often reviled, threatened and/or killed for their efforts. The final group is composed of the 'Enlightened'. Such people have progressed from the Awakened state, observed the travails of those who've tried to awaken their fellow beings (with the usual tragic results) and have decided to work for that general awakening with much more subtle methodologies.Unfortunately, down through history, many groups with political aspirations have claimed the mantle of Enlightenment, but have turned out instead to have the unavoidable feet of clay stemming from egotism. The truly Enlightened are often practically invisible; for all you know, you may have met one today without knowing it. But they can be identified through one very outstanding characteristic: selflessness. They would give you the shirt off their back or their last dollar, almost reflexively, if you truly needed it. In the past, such would have been called 'saints', but even said 'saints' would have begged off or laughed at the idea. For they've come to understand just how illusory (Vedic term was maya) most of life is, and refuse to become ensnared in the illusion.Needless to say, the Awakened and Enlightened are mortal threats to those whose investment is in that maya and all its' trappings, such as temporal political power. Such is arguably the real origin of the 'culture wars', for those who refuse to partake of the 'poisoned apple' of materialism stand as a rebuke to those who sell those apples.I think it's obvious where most of the readers of CNEWS stand in that spectrum. It's also obvious where the overwhelming majority of prohibs reside on that spectrum. And that cannabis is one of many keys to unlock the doorway leading to Enlightement, a doorway that prohibs are terrified of approaching themselves, and demand all others avoid it as well.But evolution, like so many other natural processes, cares not one whit for Human intransigence, and proceeds merrily along, switching on more and more 'lights' as the number of people on this planet grows, and more leave the ranks of the sleepwalkers.I'm sure some of you have noticed a pattern: after every war, there's an upsurge in spirituality, followed by an even more devastating war. It's almost as if there's some process at work attempting to 'cull' the numbers of Awakened and Enlightened before they can reach a number needed for critical mass. Just as the drug laws; they seek to prevent those with inclinations for evolutionary development from doing so by keeping the most effective tools known to implement that out of their hands. And key to that process is cannabis prohibition. Make of that what you will.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by museman on November 28, 2009 at 11:42:22 PT
It is only an insult if one realizes that they are the donkey following the carrot, otherwise its just business as usual for 90% of the laboring population.I personally did get quite insulted by the adamant insistence of the social authorities that I get in line and pretend to be a donkey, so I do agree. It is not just an insult that so many ignore in their pursuit of survival, but an aggrievous situation that the simplistic pat phrase reveals gently, compared to the horrible truth.Since I refused the carrot early on in my life, thanks due to a great degree from the military that broke my spirit, because, when it came time to rebuild my spirit,I was too pissed off to give in, so I rebuilt my own character and personality according to MY CHOICE, not the imposed order of BS. The point is that nearly all of what makes this system function (if thats really what it is) is just plain illusion, woven into human experience in clever ways to keep consciousness low, like the perception of a donkey (not to insult the actual donkeys)so they continue to follow the illusion of the carrot.I think it is a good metaphor for what I am talking about. I promise when I come up with a better one, that doesnt involve lengthy explanation, Ill use it.(sorry about the punctuation, something weird with this laptop)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by Hope on November 28, 2009 at 11:02:40 PT
Extraordinarily insulting
when applied to humans.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Hope on November 28, 2009 at 11:01:13 PT
The "carrot on a stick"
concept is extraordinarily insulting.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 28, 2009 at 09:37:32 PT
Very nice. Thank you.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by museman on November 28, 2009 at 09:12:29 PT
In my Senior year in High School, I was forced to take 'Government' class (in which I learned to sleep with my eyes open) -the instructor thought so much of me, he labeled me a 'communist' in front of the entire class. I also learned the technique of giving the establishment what they wanted to hear - without compromising my integrity by trying to convince myself.There was one interesting thing that my instructor said one day, early on, before I started sleeping through the class. It was about liberty and freedom.In reference to what was considered to be the communist way, he said this;"There are two kinds of freedom; Freedom to, and Freedom from. In communism, the state (in theory) protects it people from things like crime, poverty, war, etc., through agencies and law. In 'free' countries (such as the USA lol) we have the freedom to. The freedom to make our own choices, and our own mistakes, without the interference of the government."Now I have to ask, now that the cold war is history, when did America go Soviet?Answer; 1969 when the Hippies challenged Nixon by their very existence. When Reagan declared the WOD.But there is another answer; America was never free to begin with, it was and is all a pack of propaganda designed to make you willing slaves in the "Lets make the rich happy, and screw ourselves" program taught in church, school, the military, and every other institution created and funded by the status quo.(The concept of) Freedom is a myth, a fairy tale told to eager young minds to distract them from the truth, like Santa Claus, J.C., and the Easter Bunny. And by the time most adults are capable of seeing the obvious, they have been well indoctrinated into the 'system' and feed their denial every night with the bread-and-games mind-f--k of TV and media.I post a tongue-in-cheek phrase like "its not freedom, its FEEDOM" but it really is no laughing matter. The death, suffering, war, destruction, and in general rotten, corrupt actions of a lying, deceiving government is a human disease that needs a cure if life is going to survive with any kind of dignity and substance. The acceleration of our eco-destruction is not going to slow down by changing our driving habits (unless everybody just stops). Its not going to be a habitable planet as soon as the Global Dimming from vapor trails of the aircraft industry stop -and the fuel is limited-. The droughts, floods, earthquakes, famine, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires are only going to increase exponentially to the refusal of the human race to collectively admit their ignorance, their full-on mistakes of elevating themselves above the rest of the planet -as if Earth was a playground for wealthy demons (And it is).You see, contrary to the carefully taught and maintained ignorance of left-brained society and their masters, the Earth is alive, and has consciousness. The fact that the elemental beings have allowed us such latitude for so long testifies to the benevolence of nature towards the stupidity of man, but their time has come, and still they hold back and are restrained from their full capabilities.The constraint of religion and governments have deliberately kept the consciousness of humanity below the threshold of awareness that would allow the collective to become the Planetary Custodians we are supposed to be, and turned almost the entire race into some kind hive insect that builds boxes on top of each other, far away from natural resource like food and water, so that the controllers of invented works can regulate and dispense our natural providence for their edification and profit. Its been going on for a long time. So long, some of the corruption and idiocy may be genetic at this point.Freedom is a carrot on a stick, like property, 'success,' and all the other social adjectives that sound good but are rotten to the core. Real freedom is taken up, not handed out. You are either free or you are not. Your freedom is in your hands, not some fake government made to serve only the elite class that invented it.Cooperation, and social consensus is not government, it is a human attribute that has been hijacked and tweaked to fit the agenda of the ruling factions. Freedom, is inherent in all of us, and depends on us to enact, not some legislative body of fake people pretending to be gods.So,LEGALIZE FREEDOM
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 28, 2009 at 05:34:28 PT
I agree with you. It's easy to throw the word freedom around but freedom for who I always ask? If a person has lots of money freedom for them is to use people and do what they want to get more of what they want. I am for fairness for all people not freedom for those who have everything and just want more.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Vincent on November 27, 2009 at 22:24:27 PT:
European policies and other things
I agree with the comment made by "HempWorld" regarding the European regulations versus the American justice systems. Overall, Europe does tend to be more intelligent when it comes to Marijuana.In comment no.4, the writer mentions the elections of leftist regimes in South America that has brought about a different attitude toward Marijuana of tolerance.I so often argue with people my age (50s), mostly extended family members, that call themselves Conservatives or Republicans. They always come out with "less government control, more freedom", and you know, it's such bull! More "freedom" throw tenants out in the street when the rent is late; to shove their morality down your throats; to persecute people that they don't like. Yeah, that's the kind of "freedom" they are talking about. They can keep it. I'll take President Obama over President Romney any day of the week.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by MikeC on November 27, 2009 at 19:22:36 PT
Unfortunately, there are people all over the world who still believe all of the above!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by runruff on November 27, 2009 at 17:39:25 PT
Movin' right along there!
If I lived in Europe in the 1400s I believed the world was flat.If I lived in Salem Mass. in the 1600s I believed in witches.If I lived in South Carolina in 1800s I believed that people brought here from Africa were only 3/5 human.If I were living in 1937 America I would believe that "Reefer Madness" was a factual accounting of marijuana [cannabis].We're moving right along folks! 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on November 27, 2009 at 11:04:00 PT
Dear Mr. Javier Espinoza
I guess you write for a living, otherwise it is hard to image why you write such falsehoods! In your 1st sentence you say "Europe has yet to come up with a unified approach to medical marijuana." Oh? And why is this so? Europe is not even a country and it is much less a country then the USA, in which country there is absolutely no unified approach. Also in the USA there are more prisoners locked up on non-violent offences than in entire 'Europe' combined on all criminal offences. USA is a country where quadriplegics are chained to their beds (see WAMM raid and others) by the DEA, for using marijuana!Then, in your 2nd sentence you say: "The Dutch will tell you it is legal to use the drug to treat certain illnesses" and then you quote Ms. Sandvos as if you are actually in the Netherlands. But, Mr. Javier Espinosa, if you have ever been in the Netherlands, something which I strongly doubt, then you would KNOW, that cannabis is legal for anyone over 18 years of age at many designated areas in the country. You do not even have to have 'a certain illness.'Mr. Javier Espinosa you are the kettle calling the pot black! Next time check your 'facts' or hold your peace, preferably forever.The Netherlands is the only country in the world offering medical grade cannabis for sale in pharmacies, where it belongs, it is the only country to have an official Cannabis Bureau for oversight, regulation and quality control. Put that in your pipe and smoke it USA/Mr. Javier Espinosa!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on November 27, 2009 at 09:13:50 PT:
The foundation of cannabis prohibition 
is crumbling. And it's the 'water' of the faltering world economy that's washing it away. That, and the shift in political fortunes of (so-called) 'Conservative' parties around the world in favor of more Leftist (a.k.a. 'progressive') forces coming to power. South America is a perfect example, and it's no accident that a group of former South American national leaders called for an end to drug prohibition, as that 'sea change' in SA politics has led to several countries adopting 'decrim' policies.More and more, it's become obvious that the engine of world-wide drug prohibition was fueled by the American economy, and when that began to falter, the other nations of the world felt less restrained by Uncle's heavy hand. As things worsen (we haven't reached the bottom yet, the next round of mortgage foreclosures are about to begin, triggering the next slide) there will be more calls from other parts of the world to abandon Uncle Sam's chemical jihad in favor of a regulated sales schema. Unlike all those who walk around with placards saying "Sinners, repent! The End is near!", the end truly is near for drug prohibition, and for roughly the same reasons as alcohol prohibition was done away with. And the sooner a nation adopts sanity and jettisons Uncle's nonsense, the sooner that nation will save the money they need to take care of their own people in these rocky financial times. A point which our own drug law reformers need to make over and over again to the public here, so that the idea filters back to the media and then to the politicians. After all, it worked with our continually using the word 'prohibition', didn't it? (wolf's grin) It's time for the next step towards regaining lost freedom... 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 27, 2009 at 08:06:18 PT
John Tyler
I was busy and missed the parade yesterday but caught the last half hour of Paul McCartney last night.
 JoJo left his home in Tucson, Arizona for some California Grass! Very cool!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on November 27, 2009 at 07:42:48 PT
Off topic
Did you notice that Ziggy Marley was in yesterdays in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? He was on a float and sang a song. Also, Paul McCartney was on ABC last night for an hour show. It was nice to see him performing.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by afterburner on November 27, 2009 at 06:46:41 PT
Still Psychotropic! 
Maybe it's time for iNORML. InterNational Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.btw, the claim that Sativex doesn't contain the psychotropic substances in "marijuana" is pure propaganda, unless they have changed the formula to exclude organic THC and substituted synthetic THC, which is still psychotropic! THC "derived from the actual drug [Cannabis is a plant, not a drug!]" is still psychotropic. Minimizing the dosage may be the grounds for the not psychotropic claim, but like any medicine greater concentration, ingested accidentally or deliberately, would still be psychotropic.iNORML
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment