Patients in Malta are not being given access to medical cannabis because they attended rehab or detox a decade ago.
Despite the fact that medical cannabis was made legal in the country in 2018, patients are being denied the pain-reducing drug because of historical medical interventions, reports Lovin Malta.
One man, identified as Joe (not his real name) in the report, abused drugs when he was younger but has abandoned that lifestyle and now has a wife and children.
He uses cannabis to combat insomnia.
Joe said: “It’s not nice that because of your past you are treated like this.
“I want to do everything clean and according to the law… I’ve been dealing with the black market for years, and I am trying to do it the legal way now, but it looks like, unfortunately for now, I’ll have to continue.
He added: “It keeps me calm and keeps me away from alcohol and everything else… I haven’t touched anything apart from cannabis for 12 years now.
“But now I’m back in the black market, and you need to be so careful out here because not everyone is giving you good stuff, it’s not tested like the medical cannabis.”
Medical cannabis and CBD have been touted as safe alternatives to opioid pain relief.
Cannaray CEO Scott Maguire recently said cannabis will become the “first line pain therapy of choice in the UK eventually”.
Dr Andrew Agius, who treats patients at the Pain Clinic in the Maltese town of Paola, said: “It’s sad that patients are being refused a medicine that they genuinely need because they attended detox some ten to fifteen years ago.
“It could be that their drug problem was another way of coping with their pain.”