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Israel Eases Medical Marijuana Bottleneck

The Israeli Health Ministry Sunday moved to broaden access to medical marijuana by approving five more doctors to prescribe it, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. Until now, the ministry had authorized only one doctor, Dr. Yehuda Baruch of the Abarbanel psychiatric hospital, to prescribe it to an ever-growing number of patients.

Israel Medical Marijuana banner (irxmj.org)
Sunday's announcement is part of a pilot program designed to increase the number of doctors allowed to prescribe medical marijuana. If this expansion of prescribing privileges pans out, it will then be extended to doctors who are department managers in Israeli health maintenance organizations.

The number of Israelis who have been prescribed marijuana was two in 2000, 10 in 2005, 700 in the middle of last year, and may be as high as 2,000 now. A Health Ministry official estimated that, with the lessening of the prescribing bottleneck, the number could increase to 5000 by year's end and tens of thousands in the future.

Doctors are authorized to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from chronic pain, including patients with fibromyalgia, cancer, HIV/AIDS, neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis, asthma and glaucoma, as well as to Israel Defense Forces veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The broadening of prescribing privileges will also mean an increase in authorized production. Currently, only three of 14 authorized grow ops are operating, but that will probably change quickly. The medicine is provided free, but patients must pay a monthly fee of $95 to help cover growing expenses.

Israel
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Hmmmm...

...and yet the feds still say it has no medicinal value. W.T.F!

Welcome to America a country

Welcome to America a country based on political strategy. It doesn't matter if something is good or bad for our health. if that was true cigarettes would have been outlawed already. What does matter in this country is how many votes can an issue get me. Unfortunately Cannabis has a negative stigma associated to it that, and politicians fear that by supporting marijuana was like supporting communism in the 60's  

Very good news

This is some of the most encouraging news I have read on this site!

If AIPAC will adopt it as a policy position we could have medical marijuana across the US in just a few weeks.

McD's picture

Both Interesting and Strange:

This (DRC Net) is the only place I've seen this news reported. I wonder why more noise isn't being made about it?

RE: FREE (?) - Medical Marijuana

Hi,

I must correct what is mentioned in your article by clarifying that the medical marijuana is not FREE.  Yes, there is a monthly fee of currently 360 Shekels for the marijuana (if you come to pick it up in one of only two distribution locations) + 160 Shekels if you want it delivered to you monthly (service not always available or reliable), + 120 one-time "registration fee". 

This is by no means free.  Though not nearly as expensive elsewhere in the world, it is by no means cheap or easy for average Israeli families since average income is approx. 7000 shekels per month, and things here cost approx. 2 - 4 times higher than elsewhere.

I think the current system is robbery when they do not issue any more new grow-licenses, and force all new patients with licenses-to-use to purchase from one of three (only) national growers.  Thank GOD I have my license to grow, and depend upon myself for personal supply, but others are forced to purchase.  THIS MUST BE CHANGED!!

The only way to keep those growers honest is to allow each to grow for him/herself, and only if their product is unusually good will we choose to buy of our own free will from them.

Else, I grow medical marijuana of much higher medicinal quality, and do not need their garbage crap-weed AT COST when I grow much higher quality for much lower prices (approx. 200-400 USD per year, I estimate).

Medical marijuana in Israel is by no means FREE, in either the economical sense, or the FREEDOM sense.

It is good though, that more doctors issuing licenses will reduce the traffic jam that is the Israel Medical Marijuana system.

IRXMJ.ORG
Help Us Help Israel's Sick, Ill, and Dying
http://www.irxmj.org
 

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