Medical marijuana became legal Monday in the Czech Republic and is now available for sale in pharmacies. Monday was part of the Easter holiday there, so it didn't actually go on sale until Tuesday.
Medical marijuana is being imported -- either from Israel or the Netherlands -- for the first year, while the State Institute for Drug Control prepares regulations for national production. It must determine how much marijuana will need to be cultivated and organize tenders for marijuana purchases from Czech farmers. The regulatory body intends to issue licenses to local growers for a maximum of five years each.
Allowing the sale of medical marijuana is in line with the Czech Republic's overall soft stance toward soft drugs. Non-medical pot smokers can possess up to a half-ounce and grow five plants without facing criminal sanctions.
Other European countries that allow for medical marijuana use include Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. It is also legal in 18 US states and the District of Columbia.