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Understand the impact of medical marijuana use on the lives of those who depend on expensive treatments

This week, in an unprecedented decision, the 6th Panel of the Superior Court of Justice allowed three Brazilians to plant marijuana for medicinal purposes.

To show the impact of this decision on the lives of those who depend on very expensive treatments – and who can now be authorized to produce their own medicine at home – check out the conversation with researchers and with one of the patients who received this authorization.

A little marijuana plant will get big, flower, and be transformed into this extract. This is how the entire production is controlled by a 27-year-old who lives in Sorocaba, in the interior of São Paulo.

“I chose not to appear because there is still a lot of prejudice. I’m not doing anything wrong,” said the patient, who asked not to be identified.

And he’s not committing any crime, anyway. The Superior Court of Justice authorizes it. Until now, habeas corpus – authorizations for planting – had only been issued by lower courts, never by the STJ, which is a federal court. But the ministers of the 6th Panel were unanimous in their decision last Tuesday (14th).

The young man from Sorocaba had already asked for authorization to plant in the municipal and state courts, but without success. In addition to this case, the ministers of the 6th Panel of the STJ also gave permission for a woman and her nephew to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. He treats psychiatric disorders.

“I have been taking medicine since I was 12 years old. Anything was cause for anxiety. I had really, really bad depression,” he said, who was introduced to medical marijuana by his mother.

The mother, in turn, decided to take a course.

“I had a certain prejudice, but then you learn in the course that what you are taking is a medication”, she says.

Reporter: And how are you today?
Patient: I haven’t known what it’s like to have an anxiety attack for almost two years.

Who prescribed marijuana substances for the three patients was Dr. Eliane Nunes, psychiatrist and founder of the Brazilian Society for the Study of Cannabis Sativa. She and a group of lawyers helped to set up court cases for patients authorized by the STJ to plant at home.

“We want the right of all patients to plant. What we don’t have here in Brazil is the regulation of this domestic cultivation”, says Eliane.

Today, there are five associations with granted habeas corpus for planting and production in Brazil. And there is no exact number of families authorized to cultivate for medicinal use.

It is also possible to import or buy medicines made with substances taken from the plant in pharmacies. But there are many people who want to grow and make their own oil because of the high price.

The planting of cannabis Sativa appears in 33 proposals that are being processed today in the Chamber of Deputies. In the Senate, there are three projects that deal with the regulation of the cultivation, harvesting, and medicinal use.

Source: G1


Medical cannabis: import grows 15 times in 5 years and pharmacies can sell 18 products

“I heard my son say ‘I love you’ for the first time when I was 8 years old”, says Priscila Guterres Moraes, 41, Levi’s mother. Premature, autistic, and unable to express himself alone, the mother says the boy found new “brain connections” that unlocked his speech after receiving the substances derived from marijuana.

The achievement of incalculable value for parents is a reflection of the struggle for the release of medical cannabis intensified since 2010 in Brazil: the import authorization for the product that guarantees a new life for Priscila’s son was one of more than 70,000 already granted since 2015.

A number even lower than the potential of medicines, according to experts, but which already represents a 15-fold increase in imports in 5 years. An expanding market that promises to treat more than 20 different medical conditions and which already has 18 products authorized for sale in pharmacies across the country.

Levi, Priscilla’s son, is now almost 10 years old. After so many consultations, the mother herself explains in a simplified way what CBD (cannabidiol), one of the substances in cannabis, caused her son: “[He had a brain condition] as if they were disconnected wires… It seems that [with CBD] the connections met, the little threads met”, says Priscila.

This system is directly or indirectly related to a list of conditions, disorders, or diseases described in different studies with cannabis derivatives. They are in the spotlight of science and even the international pharmaceutical market: refractory epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, ASD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

Source: G1