HELSINKI (AFP) - Finland has for the first time granted a sick person a prescription for a marijuana-based painkiller.
The Finnish pharmaceuticals agency stressed however that the decision did not signify any relaxation in Finland's strict ban on the use of the soft drug, and would in the future consider each medical request on a case by case basis.
The prescription for the drug Bedrocan, from the Netherlands, was authorized for a man suffering from chronic pain. The nature of his illness was not disclosed in line with medical secrecy laws.
Marijuana is already prescribed in Canada, Britain and the Netherlands among others for sufferers of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.
"This is the first request and the first authorization of its kind in Finland," Erkki Palva of the Finnish pharmaceuticals agency told AFP Tuesday.
"But we do not intend to make this a permanent policy. We will continue to examine cases individually," he added.
Finland has one of the strictest drug policies in the European Union and one of the lowest rates of marijuana abuse. Marijuana users risk a sentence of up to two years behind bars.