Poland may not be the first country that you think of when the topic of medical cannabis comes up, however, the country is currently experiencing a medical cannabis revolution of sorts, thanks in large part to how access to medical cannabis is determined. In a concept that should not be seen in any way as being controversial, Poland allows its doctors to ultimately decide who should qualify for medical cannabis prescriptions.
In many other jurisdictions, doctors can only approve suffering patients if they have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition. In some areas, the list of qualifying conditions is fairly robust. Yet, in many other areas the list of qualifying conditions can be very limited. In both cases, there are always some amount of suffering patients that do not qualify for a medical cannabis program because their condition or conditions are not on the list, which is truly unfortunate. Thankfully, Poland does not limit its doctors when it comes to medical cannabis and allows them to prescribe medical cannabis to anyone that they think it will help.
The Spread Of Safe Access
Medical cannabis reform was implemented in Poland in 2017, and as of last year doctors in the country were averaging roughly 3,000 medical cannabis patient approvals per month. When a medical cannabis program goes from zero to 3,000 new patients a month that may sound like a lot to some people, however, when put into proper context the monthly figure in Poland is not nearly as staggering as some cannabis opponents and mainstream media outlets seem to portray it to be.
For context, it is estimated that there are nearly 200,000 medical cannabis patients in Germany as of 2022. Taking the reported Poland medical cannabis patient statistic at face value, at roughly 3,000 patients being signed up per month Poland should now be home to roughly 36,000 annual medical cannabis patients. If those numbers are correct, that means that Germany has over five times as many medical cannabis patients compared to Poland even though Germany’s population (roughly 83 million people) is nowhere near five times that of Poland (roughly 38 million people).
The fact of the matter is that increased access to medical cannabis is a great thing. Suffering patients should always have safe access to effective medicine, including cannabis, and that is true in Poland just as it is true everywhere else. Deep down cannabis opponents know that, which is why they never seem to offer up actual evidence of a negative impact on public health when a medical cannabis program is increasing in size, but rather, they simply point to the fact that the program is increasing in size and then try to argue that the increase alone should be cause for alarm.
Trust The Experts
Medical doctors are trained, certified, and licensed. They are quite literally experts when it comes to human biology and medicine. Politicians and members of the mainstream media, on the other hand, are not experts when it comes to human biology and medicine, unless of course they double as licensed doctors. With that in mind, deciding what forms and frequencies of medical treatments are the most effective for a given patient and situation is something that should be determined by a doctor and the patient. Anyone that says otherwise is pushing a political agenda.
When a doctor prescribes medicine to a patient, they are doing so knowing that they could be putting their entire careers on the line. All of the years that they have put into developing their practice, including numerous grueling years in medical school, could all go up in smoke if they make a wrong move. No doctor is going to flush their careers down the drain just to help someone get stoned. When a doctor prescribes medical cannabis, including in Poland, they are doing so because cannabis is a proven medicine – a medicine that tens of thousands of peer reviewed studies have found to be safe and effective.