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Greek Health Officials Set to Introduce MMJ Proposal

Greek health officials are set to propose legislation that would allow the cultivation and use of medical cannabis, according to a report from The decision by the Health Ministry follows a scientific study on the effectiveness of medical cannabis for treating chronic illnesses.

Health Minister Andreas Xanthos, said that the agency is close to proposing the measure that would allow physicians to prescribe medical cannabis for a limited number of conditions such as chronic pain, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis.

The Health Ministry formed a working group on the issue last July with the intent of delivering its recommendations to the Health Minister by Oct. 30, 2016, according to an Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency report.

The use of medical cannabis is legal in several European countries, including Germany, Austria, Spain, Finland, Italy, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. Last week, an 11-year-old boy from Northern Ireland who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy was the first person in the United Kingdom to be prescribed medical cannabis that contains both THC and CBD.

Last June, 36 members of Greek’s Parliament sent a letter to Health Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis outlining the benefits of medical cannabis legalization.

“The financial benefits of cultivation of our own cannabis in Greece for medicinal/pharmaceutical purposes and for use in research would be multi-faceted (rejuvenating our agricultural economy and processing, resumption of export of hemp products after many years of stagnation, strengthening insurance funds to escape the burden of expensive prescription pharmaceutical products.),” the letter states.

It is not clear whether, or when, Parliament will take up the legislation.

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