The Ministry will grant licenses for five years to legal entities and cooperatives for natural or processed products for medicinal use on the basis of the compound. One of the major innovations presented by the Organic Health Code (COS), in Chapter IV, is the therapeutic use of cannabis for diseases, or medical conditions established by the highest health authority in the country.
According to article 340 of the COS, which awaits the second debate in the National Assembly, the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) will take into account the scientific evidence and the therapeutic effectiveness. It will also regulate the concentrations of this substance and the amount allowed in each prescription and the duration.
For Víctor Álvarez, president of the Medical Association of Pichincha, the Code grants a right to the population that suffers from some disease and improves with this substance. That is, the possibility of accessing reliable medication and not depending on contraband or being a victim of forgeries. “There will be places where you can find the legally authorized medicinal cannabis, obviously under a medical prescription as it happens with tranquilizers that the doctor sends,” he said.
The doctor rejects the idea of certain social sectors for which this regulation promotes the use of recreational cannabis. “The component that is intended to be approved is cannabidiol. It is scientifically proven and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) that it is not an addictive component.”
In November 2017, the international organization indicated that cannabidiol does not appear to be harmful, nor does it present a risk of abuse. For this reason, it is not justified to include it among the substances subject to control. “This means that their production and supply are not subject to strict international controls, but their legal status in the countries is the decision of the national legislators,” the WHO said.
Álvarez clarified that in the world of medicine derivatives of certain plants “considered drugs” are used, as is currently the case with morphine that comes from the poppy. “That’s not why people become addicted,” he reiterated. The new health regulations say that the MSP will deliver the licenses that will last five years to legal entities, cooperatives and associations, whose purpose is the production of medicines or natural products processed for medicinal use.
Among the requirements that arise, prior to the granting of the permit, are the presentation and approval of the production project that contains the place of manufacture, type of seed and strain, which must not contain percentages higher than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is a component in the form of resin considered the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
An alternative Gabriel Buitrón, representative of Ecuador Cannabico, an organization that for 7 years has been fighting for the decriminalization of cannabis, went last Thursday to the National Assembly. There he explained that in the country people die of pain and that of the 50,000 patients who need medicine to relieve it, 25% receive it from the State. “Cannabis would be an alternative in these ailments, especially for children with refractory epilepsy who at the moment have no option to avoid the suffering of experiencing 300 seizures in a single week”.
Buitrón recalled that Uruguay, under the direction of José Mujica in 2017, took the initiative in the whole process of sowing, cultivating and legalizing cannabis, in medicine, industry, biofuels, food, and textiles. “For example, Uruguay received in 2018, $ 800 million for the sale of cannabis through the pharmacy. That money was not to the drug traffic but to the coffers of the State. We must take responsibility for this social struggle that has been going on for a decade now. “
Several families in the country purchase cannabis derivatives and have proven their effectiveness. That is the case of Taís Ponce, who at 17 years of age suffers from cerebral palsy. To her, say her friends, the drops of cannabis helped her to control her aggression and pathological laughter, but without numbing her as it happened with neuryl and rivotril drugs. Today her parents see a young girl who is restless, awake and full of curiosity. (I)