After several years of debate, the Swedish Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency or MPA) on Feb. 13 made cannabis available by prescription for patients with chronic pain that no other approved drug can relieve. The prescribed drug is not smoked but taken orally. The MPA stresses the decision shouldn't be mistaken for a general approval of all applications of cannabis. “This is a drug that is illegal to possess and consume,” MPA spokesman Karl Mikael Kälkner cautioned. “If the rules are correctly followed then there is no reason that [cannabis] should not be used as a preparation in a clinical setting." The two Swedish patients who have so far been prescribed medical cannabis have spinal cord injuries; after years of debilitating pain, they are reporting relief. Sweden is late in approving the medical use of cannabis, all of the Nordic neighbors and Germany have already approved the substance for prescribed medications. In the U.S., prescribed medical cannabis is legal in 29 states.
For more info on Läkemedelsverket, see