Earlier last week, the country officially began allowing the sale and use of cannabis products after a case involving a multiple sclerosis patient became the focus of public attention.
The unitary state’s decision to establish a program for patients suffering from conditions ranging from cancer to AIDS was made following an incident involving 37-year-old Huanito Luksetic, an MS sufferer, who was detained by authorities last year after they discovered his cannabis garden near the city of Rijeka. Despite the fact that Luksetic said the plants were being used to produce a personal stash of cannabis oil to treat his debilitating condition, the cops ended up seizing his small crop – a total of 44 pounds.
Fortunately, support for medical marijuana was later projected by a legion of health professionals and patients, who launched a campaign to eliminate the criminal penalties associated with having this medicine.
“For us, patients, cannabis is one of the most important plants for our lives and health,” Luksetic told Agence France-Presse. “Everyone should have the right to choice and self-cure.”
While the program was technically made legal on Thursday, there were reportedly no THC products to be distributed throughout the country. To make things worse, the health ministry has insisted that it still remains illegal to cultivate marijuana at home and that access to this medicine can only be obtained after receiving a prescription from a doctor. Even then, patients can only have up to 0.75 grams per month.
However, medical marijuana is expected to be available in pharmacies within the next couple of weeks, according to Health Minister Sinisa Varga.
“According to information that we have from wholesale drugstores, quite a lot of them are interested in importing (cannabis-derived products) to Croatia,” Varga said.
A number of other European Union states, including Spain, Portugal and the Czech Republic, have also allowed some use of medical marijuana.
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