Why is it that medicine which is used to treat terminal or palliative diseases like cancer, AIDS, HIV has not been completely publicised and regulated by the government? It is because the government is scared that people may adopt alternative forms of treatment for such diseases. They are afraid that cannabis might be used as a justification for abuse and addiction. This is why only very limited information is provided about it in the public media. Here, we have outlined some reasons why cannabis is not totally publicly accessible in India.
Factors contributing to hide Cannabis Medicines
The government, which is fearful of public protests against unjustified laws, does not wish to make cannabis a subject of national debate and controversy. In the US, the medical cannabis industry lobby is powerful and influential. However, the impact of cannabis use on society at large is minimal. Even the drug and alcohol rehabilitation institutes do not advocate its use. Therefore, the cannabis lobbies are successful in promoting their cause inside the government, but failure to regulate them effectively means that the users of this medical plant cannot be guaranteed legal access to the drugs.
Secondly, the medicinal uses of cannabis are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It is true that in many states the medical cannabis system is free from cost regulation. Yet, the same cannot be said for the medical systems of other countries where the medicinal purposes are not relevant for legal purposes. As a result, information about the medicinal properties of the plant is not readily available.
What studies have interpolated till date?
Finally, cannabis is not very effective as a medicine. Several experiments have shown this fact. For example, a Canadian study on AIDS showed that the drug chemotherapy was more efficient when patients were administered with smoked cannabis instead of the pills they would take if they had taken chemotherapy. Similarly, in the famous Canadian study on schizophrenia, which concluded that the drug olanzapine was highly effective in curing patients with the illness, it was found that the only effective aspect of the medication was the smoking of the cannabis. The other experiment, which involved taking care of children suffering from cerebral palsy, ended in the conclusion that the medical benefits of cannabis were minimal. All these experiments confirm the suspicion of many Indian citizens that cannabis is not in fact a medicine and should not be made available to the general public.
There are other reasons as well why cannabis medicine is not entirely public. The most important one is the fear of government action against cannabis possession and use. Even in Canada, the medical marijuana system has been criticized over the years for allowing doctors to prescribe the drug for medical purposes to patients who could not get it through other means.
Pros and Cons of Cannabis Medicines Legality
Despite all this, there are certain positives as well as negatives associated with the consumption of cannabis medicine. Firstly, the fact that it is not a controlled substance means that there is a greater chance of being able to find some legitimate help for certain illnesses. Secondly, it has been proven to be quite effective in treating certain mental illnesses, especially those that are not life-threatening. Thirdly, there is the fact that cannabis does not cause any significant level of addiction when used as medicine and it is reported that about 20% of users say they would still continue to use if they were not getting any medical benefit from it.
What’s the stance of Government on this issue?
The government has also taken a positive stance on the issue and has approved several trials for medicinal use of the drug. However, the drug cannot be made available to the general population until the final studies have been completed. This is also due to the fact that India is not a highly rich country and does not have the financial resources to be able to purchase huge amounts of medicines. Finally, the government is apprehensive about increasing its own medicine stocks because it is aware that the medical systems in many other countries might become dependent on foreign supplies. If this happens, the Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing companies will have no money to invest and that will have a negative impact on the development of Indian medicines as a whole.
Although cannabis medicine is not completely public in India, the government has taken a few steps in this direction by allowing private players in the industry to manufacture capsules for sale. This is possible since the government has allowed people with valid prescriptions to procure them. These capsules can then be purchased legally from any local pharmacy. The availability of these capsules will definitely increase when more public discussion about drugs comes up. It is obvious that people will eventually begin to demand for easier ways to obtain the plant’s oil and the medicine made from it.