Danes to legalise medical cannabis
From New Year’s Day, Danes will be able to obtain a receipt for medicinal cannabis, thanks to a broadly supported parliamentary decision last year. A decision is yet to be made on whether it can be grown in Denmark.
Thirteen companies have already applied for permission from the medicines authority, Lægemiddelstyrelsen, to grow cannabis, in the expectation parliamentarians will give their approval.
“We talk a lot about it being a costly affair, but by growing cannabis in Denmark we can foster a competition that will bring down the price,” Liselott Brix, the health spokesperson for the Dansk Folkeparti, told DR Nyheder.
The legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Denmark is being given a four-year trial so patients can obtain cannabis on prescription for painful illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Lars Tomassen, the head of Danish Cannabis in Djursland, told DR Nyheder: “Today, it costs 2,000 to 6,000 kroner per patient per month to be prescribed medicinal cannabis, and we have a goal to at last halve that.
“Of course we want to make some money, but if we can help develop public medication out of a 4,000-year-old product, then I’ve made some kind of difference on this earth. So if God, Lægemiddelstyrelsen, the mayor and the rest of the politicians want, we will be ready after the summer of 2018.”
But parliament is still working on the specific details of how the scheme will work, meaning that some horticulturalists, including Jorgen Andersen of Dansk Gartneri, have chosen not to apply.
Andersen was quoted saying by fyens.dk that he foresaw “a very complicated set of rules” to grow the plant.
Neil Woods, a former undercover British policeman, told a Danish parliamentary hearing in the week that MPs should consider legalising most drugs.
The movement to fully legalise cannabis, which appears to have the backing of many of Denmark’s municipalities, but not the central government, is that it will be one of the most effective ways to neutralise criminals who derive a large part of their income from the trade.
Woods, a British police officer who spent 14 years undercover infiltrating drug gangs, is a major advocate of legalising not just cannabis, but most drugs.
He also addressed an event organised by the charity Gadejuristen.
Woods, the chair in the UK of Leap (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), recently released a book detailing his experience, Good Cop, Bad War.
“It’s not criminals that cause crime, it’s opportunity,” said Woods.
He said 50 per cent of all inmates in Britain were convicted of drug-related crimes and half of all acquisitive crime was committed by less than 0.2 per cent of the population: problematic heroin users.