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Guidelines and implementation strategy for the use of cannabis

Author: 
Ali Farhat, Dr. Ali Elhaj and Dr. Mohamad Abou Haidar
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Over the past few decades, particularly after the discovery of pharmacology, several realms in the field of medical research and practices have drawn the valid contribution of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Research indicates that medical cannabis is useful in the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, epilepsy, adult chronic pain treatment, and multiple sclerosis. Despite this significant result, the topic remains debatable in many countries, including Lebanon. In this paper, we focus on understanding the ability and willingness of different Lebanese community layers that have a direct or indirect impact on the legalization of cannabis use. Sensing the political and social constituent of the Lebanese community, it is inevitable to survey various categories, including Politicians of multiple sects, religious representatives, and doctors of different specialties, including hematology /oncology and neurology. Hence, a qualitative approach using a semi-structured interview used to explore the depth of participants’ understanding and perspectives on the topic in addition to the intangible factors such as social constructions, norms, socioeconomic status, gender roles, ethnicity, and religion. We find that a considerable percentage of the total categories (81%) support the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, whereas (19%) either support with reservation or decline to position themselves in either category of opinion. Parliament representatives all advocate the medical use of cannabis with operant concerns on abuse and control; on the other hand, Religious category experience discrepancy in the perspective of the legislating cannabis as far as there is an alternative to it. (71% support the legalization while 29% express a significant concern). As for the physicians,75% uphold the legalization of cannabis for medical use and show a sincere will to prescribe for patients who are in medical need compared to 17% who don’t undergird cannabis use and 8% who declined to answer the question. The article concludes with a preposition on the possible model to govern the legalization of medical cannabis, which might be of interest to public policy specialists or further research in the field of medical cannabis.

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