Ruckus over medical cannabis at Knesset committee

Salit, the mother of a sick child, testified: “Only after my son received cannabis did his medical condition improve, and now I can sleep at night.”

June 5, 2018 03:25
1 minute read.

A marijuana leaf. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Knesset’s Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee’s discussion of medical cannabis was cut short on Monday after a participant drank cannabis oil.

The committee had been reviewing the medical cannabis reform that came into effect a month ago when the father of a girl who receives the drug took a bottle of the oil and drank it. “I’m taking it now, even though it’s expired, because my daughter is not twitching anymore. If you touch her license to get cannabis, I’ll open a drug lab myself.”

Earlier, a woman who was present in the audience was removed from the hall after she was warned several times by the chairman of the committee over her disturbances. Green Leaf Party chairman Oren Leibovitch told the chairman of the committee, MK Eli Alalouf, that he was patronizing the patients and the Knesset members.

Salit, the mother of a sick child, testified: “Only after my son received cannabis did his medical condition improve, and now I can sleep at night.”

The remarks were made following claims that the medical cannabis unit at the Health Ministry would cancel certain strains of the drug currently provided to patients by distribution companies.

The director of the ministry’s medical cannabis unit, Dr. Yuval Landschaft, responded: “We have never ordered that some cannabis varieties be cancelled.”

Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said: “Cannabis is a drug. It was I, and not my predecessors, who proposed reforming the field. It is not easy. We want to prevent leakage from the growers; we want only eligible people to receive the cannabis with dignity in the pharmacies. We added doctors who can prescribe cannabis for patients, and we will add more. This reform is good, but there are difficulties here and there. There is a problem of expensive prices for the heavy users, and that too will be dealt with.”

Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov added: “We are very, very concerned about the leakage from the expanded use of cannabis, even for medical purposes. Cannabis is not a cure. The long-term damage that can result from the use of cannabis is enormous. We see teenagers who experience psychotic attacks as a result of cannabis. When a pregnant woman and then her baby get cannabis, we die of fear.”

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