Health Ministry seeks to centralize marijuana distribution. Currently, the 14,000 Israelis with cannabis cards purchase medical marijuana directly from the growers. Likud MK Moshe Feiglin suggests permitting all doctors to prescribe cannabis. The government will hold a vote on Sunday to approve new guidelines regarding the distribution of medical marijuana.
The newly proposed measure calls for giving 30 doctors licenses to prescribe cannabis, which if passed, would mean adding 10 more doctors to the current number already permitted to do so. The proposal stands in contrast to Likud MK Moshe Feiglin's call for all doctors to be allowed to prescribe medical marijuana. In Israel, 14,000 people hold medical marijuana cards.
The proposal to be voted upon on Sunday was drafted by the Health Ministry with contribution from the Defense, Interior and Agriculture and Rural Development ministries. It is in line with the Health Ministry's "policy of moderation" regarding marijuana. The decision on whether to expand use of marijuana for medical reasons will be voted on by a committee of experts who will evaluate research and medical records attesting to the safety and efficiency of treatment with cannabis.
The Health Ministry evaluated importing cannabis to shut down the grow houses in Israel, but the idea was ruled out as the Holland is the only country that exports cannabis -- and only up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds), the weekly consumption of Israeli patients. Currently patients receive medical marijuana directly from the growers. The Health Ministry proposal seeks to centralize distribution by having all the marijuana distributed by the Sarel medical supply company. Sarel would package and weigh the cannabis and would then distribute packages to approved medical centers.