A challenge for the lawyers called medical marijuana – to decriminalize, or legalize it?
Part of the marijuana plant that can alleviate any health problem is the main reason why most of the countries in the world are taking action to legalize and to use it for medical reasons. ‘Medical marijuana’ is the new term that is used and you can find it in the literature as medicine which is not different from the marijuana used for pleasure. But, nowadays the study shows that it has a lot of health benefits and it does not provide any euphoria or similar states of mind.
In this plant, there are lots of compounds also known as cannabinoids, which are responsible for different brain effects. Commonly known or most famous types are THC and CBD. The THC component is psychoactive chemical, and CBD has shown great potential to treat people with different illnesses. CBD works in a very strange way apart from the THC, it does not make people have any intoxication or euphoria (studies show that it can even reduce anxiety).
In the USA, for example, the first state to legalize medical marihuana is California (in 1996) when voters passed the first laws and after that ‘first big step’ medical marihuana was legalized in all but eight states in America. In most states, CBD is legalized to be used for medical treatment, but recreational marihuana is still forbidden and it can be punished as serious crime under federal law. Marijuana is still treated as a dangerous drug, mostly because it does not give you the same effect as the first period of using it, and after that, the user of marijuana goes for consuming other, heavier drugs.
Medical marijuana is also used to treat children who have hard cases with epilepsy because they find relief in the CBD oil, but with almost no THC. The improvements are in communication, better sleep and motor skills.
It is very complex for lawyers to make a law that not only can be written but strictly respected and enforced afterward. People knowing that some of the marijuana is legal or decriminalized, and not knowing what to do with it, how it will affect them, or what that even means, can easily misuse it and get caught by the officials.
On an international level, in the past it was regulated by the UN Single Convention on narcotic drugs in 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic substances (1971) and the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances (1988). Nowadays, a lot of money is invested in producing this cannabis oil or marijuana for various medical purposes.
Many countries have legalized only the use of medical marijuana in the world such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland, North Macedonia, and others. Europeans are more conservative when it comes to cannabis.
Believe it or not, North Macedonia is preparing to be one of the biggest producers of marijuana for medical purposes, according to the New York Times.
In Skopje, North Macedonia in an industrial zone of the capital city, there is fabric in construction on 178,000 square feet. It is expected that when it starts to produce marijuana at full capacity it will produce 17 tons per year, worth about $50 million. This is a big step or a whole new industry for this small country. The new law on marijuana should be passed in North Macedonia in a couple of months, and according to the officials, it should be in April (it may be postponed because of the new coronavirus).
Having in mind that the demand for medical marijuana is really strong especially in countries such as Germany, UK, Czech Republic, and others, this is a great opportunity and will make a difference once it starts to produce and help patients waiting for this kind of treatment. That is why legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is a challenge for lawyers all over the globe.