Richard Mortel

On Jan. 1 Denmark rolled out its four-year $3.2 million medical cannabis trial in earnest; however, according to the Copenhagen Post, few physicians have agreed to prescribe cannabis to qualified patients – and are under no obligation to do so.  

When the trial was announced by officials in November 2016, the stated goals were to “establish a defensible framework for the implementation of medical cannabis in the public health sector so patients with certain treatment indications can be treated with medicinal cannabis prescribed by a doctor.”

Why, then, aren’t doctors prescribing? The medical association Dansk Selskab for Almen Medicin has warned physicians that prescribing medical cannabis could compromise their safety. Doctors are required to carry out a professional assessment prior to prescribing cannabis and some experts have indicated that many of the nation’s general practitioners might now know how to prescribe or what for.

Klaus Høm, the head of the Scleroseforeningen association – which focuses on multiple sclerosis – said that many other doctors are refusing to prescribe cannabis as a matter of principle.

When approved by lawmakers, the program had the support from a wide-range of political parties. Jane Heitman, health spokesman for the Venstre Party, told the Post the development is “worrying.”

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