Pharmacists in Latvia oppose any and all attempts to legalize, decriminalize or in any other way allow free circulation of narcotic substances in the country. Mentioning of such initiatives and their submission to the Saeima only serves to increase interest of youngsters toward light drugs, pharmacists say.
«Unfortunately, we still see the trend when youngsters remain largely interested in ‘smoking some weed’ every now and then. On top of that, they see no real difference between ‘spice’ and marijuana. They choose what is cheaper or available,» – said Sentor Farm representative Alla Cudovska.
According to pharmacists, boys are found more often using light drugs than girls. «We also often observe the unfortunate consequences of using narcotics or other dangerous substances. There have been cases when youngsters turned to us for first aid after experiencing serious health problems (vomiting, bleeding from the nose, etc.). The sight of such things is truly terrifying. Often teenagers feel scared, disoriented and aggressive and act violently toward other people. In a state of intoxication, people, especially teenagers, cannot control themselves or remember anything,» – says Meness aptieka pharmacist Ina Novikova.
Pharmacists emphasize that opening the doors for legislative initiatives would only subject the growing generation to an even greater risk of drug addiction. «Authors of the initiative intentionally mislead people about the alleged free trade of marijuana in Estonia and other EU countries, as well as its supposed medicinal effect,» – explains Cudovska.
Use of drugs for medicinal purposes in Latvia is strictly regulated. «The law dictates very strict safety, storage and use rules for substances that have a narcotic effect. Such substances are not allowed to be sold without prescription. Pharmacies are obligated to submit regular reports to the National Health Service and help other state institution monitor the circulation of such substances,» – said Novikova.
It should be noted that a draft has been submitted to the Saeima in regard to the decriminalization of marijuana. It is mentioned in accompanying documents that 10,373 signatures have also been received in support of this initiative.
The initiative was put up on Manabalss.lv on 23 January, 2012.
According to one of the representatives of this initiative, Donats Blazevics, decriminalisation is an effective solution to the problem of narcotics in society. In addition, this solution is recommended by the World Health Organization.
«More than 20,000 studies have been carried out about marijuana. Many of them claim marijuana have a wide range of medicinal applications and enormous potential for treating different light illnesses. This can be explained with the fact that marijuana stimulates cannabinoid receptors (CB1, CB2) found in the human body. These receptors are part of, possibly, the most important physiological system in the human body – endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining human health, as well as maintenance and balancing of the human immune system,» – said Blazevics.