Medical marijuana goes on sale in Czech pharmacies

Prescription-only drug is for patients suffering from cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or psoriasis.


Afp April 02, 2013
The new law does not foresee health insurance coverage for marijuana, touted by some as a medical miracle drug. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

PRAGUE: Medical marijuana legally went on sale Tuesday in pharmacies across the Czech Republic for patients suffering from cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or psoriasis.

The new law does not foresee health insurance coverage for marijuana, touted by some as a medical miracle drug.

The prescription-only drug formally became legal on Monday, but was virtually unavailable as most pharmacies across the ex-communist European Union state of 10.5 million were closed over to the Easter long weekend.

Prague will first import the drug for about a year, reportedly from Israel or the Netherlands, until the State Institute for Drug Control starts issuing licences to local growers for a maximum of five years.

The institute will also determine the crop area and organise tenders for marijuana purchases from farmers.

An EU member since in 2004, the Czech Republic provides some of the most liberal access to soft drugs in Europe.

People holding up to 15 grammes (0.53 ounces) of marijuana or growing up to five plants of cannabis risk just a small fine – an approach that often attracts smokers from other countries such as neighbouring Poland, where tougher laws apply.

A 2011 national report on narcotics said 16.1 per cent of Czechs aged 15-34 admitted to having used marijuana in that year, down from 20.3 per cent a year earlier.

COMMENTS (3)

Gunther Weiglein | 8 years ago | Reply

We have the same situation here in Germany since 2009. I am allowed to purchase Cannabis from my pharmacy, but it is NOT covered by my health insurance. I am paying 72 Euros for 5 grams of weed from the pharmacy and 75 Euros for 10 grams from my local supplier. I wonder, how a czech patient will be able to pay that astronomic price for a plant. Let´s grow this medicine! It´s so easy.

1984 | 8 years ago | Reply

@ahmed41: Marijuana is non addictive and is beneficial to health....Its been mentioned as a medicine in many ancient books and it was used as relaxant till 1930s

But if Hemp is legalized,it would spell doom to healthcare,paper,cotton,petrochemical industry...Thats the reason,its banned....

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