Medical marijuana still unlikely in Sweden

6:04 min

In America, several states have recently legalized or decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana. But, here in Sweden, the drug is still illegal even for medical purposes.

Last week, researchers from both countries gathered on the island of Gotland to discuss whether the drug would ever be used by Swedish patients to treat pain or control other symptoms.

Professor Fred Nyberg, who works at the department of pharmaceutical biosciences at Uppsala University, tells Radio Sweden that the majority of Swedes still oppose legalizing the substance.

"There are some in young political groups who think they should try this for several reasons but, so far, they are in the minority," Nyberg says.

Nyberg says cannabis use can be allowed in certain specific cases but that overall the drug and its active component THC does not "seem to fulfill all requirements for a suitable drug."

He adds that opioids, a family of powerful and potentially addictive painkillers, can be more effective at treating pain if used in a careful and controlled manner.