Medical marijuana still escapes the Czechs
The Czech Republic is one of the 20 or so European countries that has allowed medical marijuana use but that’s not good enough for citizens who can’t get it. The problem lies at the Health Ministry that some say are stonewalling the effort for the new laws to take effect. April 1st was when the laws came into effect and ever since then Czechs have had an uphill battle not only to get the needed marijuana but to get the government to put the Health Ministry in check so to speak.
It is okay to use medical marijuana and about 20,000 eligible patients are awaiting but it is not okay to distribute the drug. This also is confounded by the Health Ministry not allowing insurance companies to cover the prohibitive costs of the substance. Only 1.1 ounces are allowed a patient each month and that cost at $10 a gram is more than the average person can afford since the average salary is only around $1,300 a month. People in need can’ get the drug at their pharmacies either because the distribution and registry systems aren’t in place. It’s a series of stops on all fronts and that causes some people to grow marijuana on their own to treat themselves, families, and neighbors.
Of course the Health Ministry denies these claims but it is obvious they are behind the problem. It may be a deliberate effort on their part as pharmaceuticals are the big money makers for them and marijuana cuts into those profits. It may also be that the Health Ministry’s administrative infrastructure is full of uncoordinated compartments that aren’t up to speed in order to service the country. This is bureaucracy in effect then and that has to be cleared up by the Czech government. Perhaps a reform is in order.
All in all, the fact that the Czech people can now get medical marijuana but can’t get medical marijuana means that more work needs to be done by the government to clear up the problem. The limited amount of marijuana per person some say is ineffective for the illnesses it is supposed to treat such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and other maladies. It is of no surprise that some governments have such convoluted systems as most rely on the big pharmaceutical companies for their bread and butter and any change means less control and possible loss of profits. It will take an internal investigation to determine where the blocks and diversions are coming from.