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Switzerland: A banned medicine's comeback

When pure and administered carefully, [cannabis] is one of the most valuable medicines we possess,” wrote British physician John Russell Reynolds in 1890, praising the substance’s curative properties. He even prescribed it in the form of a natural tincture for his most illustrious patient, Queen Victoria.

Over a century later, cannabis, also known as hemp or marijuana, is on the list of banned substances worldwide due to its psychotropic effects. A devastating and dangerous drug for some, a medicine without equal in the pharmacist’s repertoire for others, cannabis is beginning to be used again in the treatment of serious illness and chronic pain.

In Switzerland, a growing number of patients and doctors are making use of medicines containing cannabis and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), its psychoactive constituent. Pioneers have worked to give cannabis a new lease of life in medicine, including in Switzerland. In this article swissinfo.ch tells the stories of four...

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