The highly influential Doctor’s Association in Portugal is calling for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Portugal currently has one of the most liberal drug policies globally, Reuters reports. Miguel Guimaraes, the head of the Doctor’s Association, is advocating for legalizing medical marijuana based purely on scientific evidence.
Guimaraes said “The parliament bills should follow scientific evidence and restrict themselves at this stage to medicines, researched formulas,” and that “Portugal can have an excellent opportunity here for clinical trials since we already have two instances where plantations have been authorized … It is an extremely promising area at an international level.”
The Left Bloc party has the support from the country’s ruling Socialists and several other political parties. The Left Bloc would make changes to home cultivation permission and would create “a workable legislation that would benefit patients.”
The Left Bloc argues exporting legal medical marijuana without improving access in Portugal as “unnatural and hypocritical.”
Portugal reversed their war on drugs by decriminalizing all drug use in 2001 in an effort to fight their drug addiction epidemic. It focused on treatment and prevention instead of criminal punishment. Drug deaths and abuse have reduced significantly since they decriminalized.
It is predicted that the potential European medicinal marijuana market could reach a value of over $40 billion euros annually.