LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s influential Doctors’ Association called for the legalization of marijuana-based medicines on Thursday, the same day parliament started to debate a draft bill that goes even further in seeking to allow patients to grow pot at home.
Although Portugal boasts one of the world’s most liberal policies on drugs and has legal marijuana plantations destined for export, it has trailed several EU countries such as Italy and Germany, as well as Canada and parts of the United States in the last few years on medical marijuana.
Several EU countries allow for doctor-prescribed cannabis-based medicines to be legally acquired to treat chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, alleviate side effects from cancer therapy, and help with some other ailments.
Miguel Guimaraes, the head of the Doctor’s Association, told Reuters that he advocated legalizing marijuana-derived medicines based on scientific evidence, but criticized the part of the draft law that would permit domestic growing of the plant.
The bill’s sponsor, the Left Bloc party, agreed to change the part of the draft legislation dealing with cultivation at home, saying it was prepared to make…