Newsbrief: Spanish Pharmacists Support Catalonian Pilot Study on Marijuana in Pharmacies 4/16/04

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The government of the Spanish region of Catalonia announced March 31 that it would support providing medical marijuana in pharmacies, and now local and national pharmacists' organizations are asking the government to provide actions to accompany those words, the Spanish medical news service reported. The government of Catalonia is medical marijuana-friendly; three years ago the Catalan parliament unanimously asked the national government to legalize the therapeutic use of the herb. So are Catalonian pharmacists; the Pharmacists Association of Barcelona has already created a guidebook for medical marijuana use.

Now that same group is calling on the Catalonian government to conduct a pilot study of distributing marijuana through Catalan pharmacies, and it is being backed by the national Federation of Spanish Pharmacists. The national group's president, Isabel Vallejo, told the organization backed the call for a pilot project.

"You can't ignore it, because there is a population that could find itself benefiting from it," she said. A pilot project could help determine safe dosage levels, she added. "All medicines have a window of safety and in this sense cannabis must be treated like whatever other substance that could produce health benefits," she said. And who better to speak out on pot in pharmacies, said Vallejo. "Since we are talking about the medical and therapeutic use, there always has to be input from pharmacists, since we are specialists in pharmaceuticals."

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