Cannabis in Czech Republic
In Czech Republic there are many patients suffering from chronic pain who have been waiting since 2012 to be able to enjoy some medical marijuana. That was the year in which the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes was approved there. The purpose was to give the drug to those who need it while keeping the prices at a reasonable level. A big problem, however, was born soon after the decision was made: because growing cannabis is illegal in Czech Republic, growers and owners have been forced to import cannabis from other nations pushing the prices to crash against the roof. Consequently, marijuana has become expensive enough to be out of reach for most of the patients: one gram of dry cannabis costs almost 11 euro, which means that a person who suffer from chronic pain needs to spend more or less 330 euro in order to enjoy the benefits of the drug. Unfortunately, 330 euro is one third of the average monthly salary in Czech Republic.
Relatives, patients and lawyers have already denounced this scandal, pointing out the fact that lawmakers have pretty much failed and the law is now actively promoting illegality. In fact, many of the citizens who find themselves facing the impossibility to access the legal market are forced to buy cannabis through “alternative”channels, or they buy seeds online (http://greenhouseseeds.nl/) and grow their own plants, hoping never to be caught by the authorities.
The problem is absurd, and in the last few weeks we’ve seen a few signs indicating that a growing number of politicians have finally understood that the situation is unbearable. Drafts of new programs and bills should soon be ready, but the process needed to change the law will be a long one. Long story short, local growers need to have the power to drag down the prices: at the moment, this seems to be the logical solution to a complicated political problem.
The fact that things are moving forward in Czech Republic remains, however, a good sign for both the nation and the continent. Europe desperately needs to step up, especially considering how quickly things are changing in the United States of America. There is no time to waste, people have suffered enough, and marijuana has been criminalized for way too many years. Nobody has to suffer because a stereotype is too strong to be defeated, especially when we are talking about a plant that has been used by human beings all over the world for centuries.