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Czech Parliament Approves Medical Marijuana

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #769)
Politics & Advocacy

The Czech Senate Wednesday approved a bill allowing for the medical use of marijuana by an overwhelming margin of 67-2. The measure had already passed the lower house of parliament.

The bill passed with support from all the political parties represented in the parliament. Newly-elected Czech President Milos Zeman is expected to sign it into law.

But while medical marijuana advocates are pleased that their government has moved to legalize the use of the herb for medicinal purposes, they are less happy with a provision that says only imported marijuana will be allowed to be sold for the first year "to ensure standards." That will make medical marijuana too expensive while enriching the black market and the few companies that will be selected as official traders of it.

"It's legal, pharmaceutical and economic corruption," said Dusan Dvorak, a medical-cannabis activist who leads the nonprofit organization Marijuana is Medicine. "The result of the law should be access to cannabis for research and medical uses. But the real result is that it won't be made available, it'll be more expensive, it'll bolster the black market and the mafia," he told the Wall Street Journal's Emerging Europe blog.

"For a long time I've supported enabling the medical use of cannabis… but I have to say that I'm very disappointed by what we've got on the table today," said Alena Gajduskova, the first-deputy Chairwoman of the Senate, who voted in favor of the bill despite reservations. "These medicines are proven; they're very efficient but shouldn't be a luxury good. That is completely unacceptable."

Gajduskova suggested that a solution would be to allow the country's "grandmother growers," who already have plants growing on their balconies and in their gardens to legally grow the plants, or at least remove the threat of criminal prosecution.

"A small amount of [marijuana] for personal use isn't criminalized, so if we're able to tolerate that, I don't see why we couldn't tolerate the senior 'grandmother growers' [for medical use]. And from the position of the Union of Patients of the Czech Republic, we'll work towards that goal," she said.

The Czech Republic is one of the most marijuana-friendly countries in Europe. Pot remains illegal, but in 2010, lawmakers removed all penalties for possession of up to a half ounce and cultivation of five or fewer plants. The following year, the government approved the use of medications using marijuana derivatives.

But it sounds like it still has some work to do on creating a viable medical marijuana distribution system.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


mexweedsky (not verified)

Sorry about the prices.  One thing they can get busy with: open the first One Hit Head Shop (with a snappy Czech name that can be publicised worldwide).  No big bowl pipes, no Hot Burning Monoxide papers, just a selection of vaporisers and SCREENED ONE-HITTERS--- easily made with a beautified chillum handpiece, headed by a 1/4", 6-mm or 5.5-mm (7/32") socket wrench, and attached at the butt (suck) end a 20"(50-cm) flexible drawtube so you can see what you're doing when you hold the lighter flame far enough below the opening to assure air entry temperature of 385F/197C.

Create a situation where the "joint" (in Europe often contaminated with nicotine tobacco) is replaced by equipment with BUILT-IN dosage regulation (25 mg, 40 per gram), thus satisfying any demand for safeguards against abuse!  (Nothing new, don't forget the first robot alias "golem" was invented in Prague  over 700 years ago, wouldn't it be great if a VAPE TOKE management device emerged from there in our time.)  Meanwhile despite the criminal pricing, users will SAVE MONEY.

Wed, 01/30/2013 - 9:51pm Permalink

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