Croatia made history by legalizing medical cannabis use today, ruling that medicine containing THC can be prescribed to treat health problems associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and AIDS.
The maximum period for prescriptions is 30 days, and the maximum amount allowed at any one time is 7.5 grams. All cannabis use outside of these parameters, including use for recreational purposes, remains illegal.
Agence France-Presse’s Lajila Vaselica reports that the driving reason for the new law came from the court case of a multiple sclerosis patient. Huanito Luksetic was detained for growing cannabis plants to treat his symptoms in order to create cannabis oil.
“For us, patients, cannabis is one of the most important plants for our lives and Health,” Luksetic told AFP. “Everyone should have the right to choice and self-cure.”
Croatian Health Minister Sinisa Varga reportedly said that medical cannabis would be available within the next month.
The legality of cannabis varies across a few countries in Europe:
- The Netherlands has decriminalized up to 5 grams for public use, and only "coffeeshops" can legally sell cannabis;
- Spain has legalized cannabis in private/closed spaces only, with public consumption still illegal (albeit decriminalized);
- Portugal has decriminalized cannabis but it is technically still an illegal substance;
- The Czech Republic has decriminalized possession of up to 10g of cannabis and has legalized the purchase of up to 10g of medical marijuana (recreational cannabis is still illegal);
- And, of course, Croatia just legalized up to 7.5 grams of medical marijuana for qualified patients.