"Legalise cannabis oil for more patients"
The federal Christian democrat MP Els Van Hoof has launched an appeal to legalise cannabis oil for MS and ALS patients, among others.
Under present legislation, only MS patients are allowed to use a mouth spray containing cannabis to reduce the pain. The mouth spray Savitex was granted a legal permission in 2015 for patients suffering from MS. However, Els Van Hoof wants this to be extended to patients to ALS patients, and to children suffering from a certain type of epilepsy. In practice, some parents are buying this oil abroad, but it is still illegal. It's the cannabidiol component which can have a soothing effect for patients.
Van Hoof underlines that she does not want a legalisation of cannabis: "A common mistake is that people see this as a legalisation of cannabis, but this is completely different. We'd better call it a therapeutic use of cannabinoids instead of medical cannabis to make clear we are talking about products which have received the scientific go-ahead after tests, to be used as a medicine."
The ALS Liga, the umbrella organisation representing ALS patients, is giving the proposal thumbs up.