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Free weed! France to trial free medical cannabis on 3,000 patients

France has announced it will conduct its long-awaited medical marijuana trial, offering it to 3,000 participating patients for free in 2021.

While it’s far from raining weed like it is in Israel, France have finally announced March 2021 as the date they’ll begin their medical marijuana trial that was unanimously backed by their senate in 2019.

Pharmaceutical grade cannabis products are set to be prescribed to 3,000 patients in extreme cases where other alternatives to ease suffering are insufficient. The trial is limited to two years, with the first prescription dates delayed to March 2021 due to the coronavirus.

Marijuana farm
Photo credit: Terre Di

The program will last for two years from the first date of prescription, and is the first of its kind to take place since France banned medical cannabis in 1953.

The government has been highly criticised for its outdated policy on the matter, who until 2018 imposed fines as high costly as €3,750 ($6,000 AUD), as well as one-year prison sentences for cannabis possession.

The French Ministry of Health and Solidarity will be responsible for the project, whose minister along with the the general director of the French Health Association (ANSM) will decide the finer details of the trial.

These details will include the list of medical conditions eligible for the trial, the form in which the cannabis will be consumed, and the procedures for importing and controlling the drug.

The ANSM now publicly supports cannabis as a medicinal product for reducing pain, controlling epilepsy, and in cases of palliative care and cancers. The ANSM says it doesn’t recommend smoking, so it’s unlikely France will be sending out pre-rolled joints to participants like the USA still do.

It’s pretty unlikely that ScoMo will follow in France’s footsteps – after all that sounds like much more of a New Zealand thing, since Jacinda Ardern fully outed herself as the cannabis queen during this debate: