Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The Czech Republic is known for its liberal drug policies, but you still need to follow some rules if you want to use medical marijuana legally. Patients with qualifying conditions can get a prescription for medical marijuana from their doctor.
The Czech Republic doesn’t have a medical marijuana program like some states and countries do. They instead opt for the second most common option — they allow doctors to prescribe marijuana medicine like any other drug. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to access medical cannabis.
Only people with the right money and access to medicine can take advantage of the Czech Republic’s medical marijuana laws. Most insurance companies don’t cover cannabis medication, so patients must pay for their weed out of pocket. Many pharmacies don’t carry it, either, due to the lack of cultivation sources in the country.
Many countries that used to be a part of the Soviet Union retained its harsh drug policies that aimed to completely eliminate them from society. The Czech Republic has bucked the trend by having some of the most liberal policies in Eastern Europe. They focus their legislation regarding cannabis and other drugs on education, harm reduction and rehabilitation.
The Czech Republic legalized medical marijuana in 2013. But, a lack of local suppliers and insurance coverage makes it difficult for many folks to get it. In 2016, medical cannabis wasn’t available from February to May due to the country’s only supplier stopping production, but they returned in 2017.
Technically, the Czech Republic hasn’t legalized marijuana, but it allows recreational users to have up to 15 grams of marijuana, or up to five plants. Medical users can have up to 30 grams of dry marijuana each month, but they aren’t allowed to grow their own plants.
The Czech Ministry of Health plans to establish a nationwide telemedicine program by 2020 that will provide medical services to more patients. As telemedicine services become more common, patients may be able to remotely connect with a medical marijuana doctor. Only about two-dozen doctors can currently prescribe medicinal cannabis.
Adults over 18 with qualifying conditions can request an electronic prescription for medical marijuana. Patients with HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer who exhibit certain symptoms are eligible for cannabis medicine. Once they have a prescription, they can get medicine from a pharmacy that carries it.
Patients in the Czech Republic don’t need a special license to get their marijuana medicine. Instead, a certified doctor will submit an electronic prescription the patient can use to get medicine from a pharmacy. Since the prescriptions are electronic, patients don’t have to carry paper documentation with them.
Here are a few facts about cannabis use in the Czech Republic:
About 43% of drug offenses in the Czech Republic involve marijuana. Any sale or purchase of recreational marijuana is considered a criminal offense, meaning you’ll receive serious punishment. Possessing a large amount of cannabis or growing more than five plants can net you time in prison.
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