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Czech Activists Call for Legalized Medical Marijuana

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The initiative proposes that any Czech who announced it to the Health Ministry be allowed to grow up to 1.5 kilogramme of marijuana a year.

The call was signed by a number of Czech personalities, including singer Marta Kubisova, former MP Tana Fiserova and documentary film director Olga Sommerova.

Cannabis products are used for example in the treatment of arthrosis and rheumatism. They also help epileptics and people suffering from the Parkinson’s disease.

The signatories call on the deputies to include their demand in the Penal Code that the lower house started to discuss. People who grow one to three cannabis plants or have up to 20 marijuana cigarettes will face merely a fine under the new code.

The initiative wants the amount to be increased. "Only three cannabis plants, this is ridiculous," said Jiri Richter, head of the association of NGOs for prevention and treatment of drug abuse.

Richter told CTK that he believed marijuana should become completely legal. He added that quality prevention programmes needed to accompany the legalisation.

The Supreme Court recently supported an appeal of a woman from central Bohemia who was charged over growing some 70 cannabis plants in her garden. The woman says she uses the plants for medical purposes.

The junior ruling Green Party supports marijuana’s decriminalisation. Some politicians, including opposition leader Jiri Paroubek (Social Democrats, CSSD), even spoke of its legalisation, but drug abuse experts consider this impossible.

The use of soft drugs is not legal in any European country.

Alcohol and tobacco are followed by marijuana as the most often abused drugs in the Czech Republic.

According to surveys, one in four 15-year-old Czechs smoked marijuana at least once. International comparisons show that Czech youths and children experiment with marijuana more than young people from most of the other European countries.

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