By Phillip Smith
The Czech Republic took a big step last week toward becoming the next European country to approve the use of medical marijuana. Last Friday, the lower house of Parliament passed a government-sponsored medical marijuana bill.
The measure must still be approved by the upper house. There is no word yet on when that vote may take place.
Under the legislation, marijuana would first be imported, but would later be grown locally by companies registered with the government and licensed to do so. Patients would not be allowed to grow their own medicine.
The drug would be sold by prescription in pharmacies. Medical marijuana would not be covered by health insurance.
Medical marijuana is legal in a number of European countries, as well as Canada and Israel. It is also legal in 18 US states and the District of Columbia.