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Medical marijuana legalised in the Czech Republic

Medical marijuana legalised in the Czech Republic

Publish date: 2013-03-11

At the end of January the Czech Senate almost unanimously approved the legal use and sale of cannabis for medical purposes. Subsequently, the bill was signed by a former Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus. The medical marijuana is available for people suffering from such illnesses as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or psoriasis.

Tags: czech republic , medicine

The plant comprises more than 400 chemicals; the most important one is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which can actively act on people, leaving them relaxed or sleepy. The opinions about the use of cannabis differ, but there are evidences that marijuana, especially its stronger forms are likely to cause psychotic illnesses.

Apart from recreational use, cannabis can be applied for medical purposes. The group of active chemicals in marijuana is called cannabinoids and can activate a lot of receptors in human body, especially the ones of the central nervous and the immune systems. In connection with such biological activity, they possess diverse action. For example, cannabis drugs can be used to diminish the chemotherapy side-effects such as nausea and vomiting. The next application of this medicament is to treat multiple sclerosis. The active species present in marijuana reduces muscles spasticity, thus increasing their ability to remain independent. What is interesting, such a treatment does not cause any alteration in the mood of the patients.


There is one condition which cools down the enthusiasm of the Czech cannabis proponents – to ensure the quality of medical marijuana, merely the imported one is allowed for sale in the first year, but after the initial period, registered, domestic production will be permitted to join the pharmaceutical market. Now, the plants are to be imported from either Israel or Holland.

To buy medical marijuana in the pharmacy, it is obligatory to have a prescription, but the health insurance does not cover the treatment. The possible aftermath of the legalisation of the bill under such terms makes cannabis prohibitively expensive, thus making it a luxurious good. This, in turn, can cause the enrichment of the black market and favouring of several companies selected to be official traders of such products.

The first-deputy Chairwoman of the Senate, Alena Gajduskova, gives her own solution to the problem of high price of medically used cannabis. According to her, it would be constructive if so called “grandmother growers”, who already have cannabis plants in their gardens or on balconies, would be allowed to legally cultivate their plants. “These medicines are proven; they’re very efficient but shouldn’t be a luxury good. That is completely unacceptable”, she said.

In the Czech Republic cannabis remains illegal, but it is allowed to possess up to 15 grams of dried flowers or to cultivate maximum five plants privately. This country is one of the first in the EU, which permits the sale of marijuana for medical purposes. The two countries in the European Union which have more liberal approach to cannabis are the Netherlands and Portugal. However, Czechs are the biggest users of marijuana in Europe. About 15.2% of adults use cannabis annually, while 42% of Czech students confess they had tried marijuana before.



by Jakub Chrustowicz


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