JAN 29, 2020 1:35 PM PST

In Sicily, Medical Cannabis Is Now Free

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

The Sicilian government will now foot the bill for many patients using medical cannabis.

Sicily’s top health administrator, Ruggero Razza, announced in early 2020 that the government would pay for prescribed medical marijuana for certain conditions. This autonomous region of Italy (one of five) now joins other governments in the European Union in subsidizing a large portion of their citizen’s cannabis treatments.

Patients with cerebral palsy, chronic or neuropathic pain, or multiple sclerosis can qualify for free medical marijuana. It will be sourced from pharmacies in Agrigento, Catania, Palermo, Ragusa and Syracuse, Italian media outlet Lasiciliaweb reports. The Czech Republic and Ireland also offer similar programs providing cost-free prescribed cannabis.

Medical use of marijuana has been legal on this Italian island since 2013, while recreational use remains outlawed. But, in late 2019, Italy joined the growing list of countries, including Canada, Uruguay and others, where small-scale marijuana cultivation at home for personal use is legal.

“It’s a very important decision because it will shield from prison those who choose to cultivate marijuana for personal use,” Leonardo Fiorentini, a representative of the drug policy advocacy group Forum Droghe, said at the time.

As High Times reported, most of Sicily’s medical cannabis comes from the Netherlands. Some also comes from Canada via the company Aurora Cannabis, which also supplies Luxembourg and Ireland’s governments.

In the U.S., insurers generally do not pay for medical marijuana, even when legal and prescribed by a healthcare provider. Two key reasons for this are that, federally, cannabis is not considered a medicine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Select synthetic marijuana drugs like Marinol are FDA-approved and covered by some insurance companies.

 

Article Sources:

High Times

The Local Europe AB

Lasiciliaweb

 
About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
You May Also Like
JUN 16, 2021
Health & Medicine
CBD Consumption Linked With Lower Alcohol Intake
JUN 16, 2021
CBD Consumption Linked With Lower Alcohol Intake
Drink and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll may have defined the life of a few in the seventies, but the  fact of ...
JUN 24, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use in Young Adults May Be Linked to Suicidal Thoughts
JUN 24, 2021
Cannabis Use in Young Adults May Be Linked to Suicidal Thoughts
Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have found that cannabis use among young adults may be linked ...
JUL 07, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Experts Reach Consensus on Dosing Cannabis for Chronic Pain
JUL 07, 2021
Experts Reach Consensus on Dosing Cannabis for Chronic Pain
Twenty cannabis experts from across the globe have reached a consensus on how medical cannabis may be used to treat chro ...
JUL 11, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
How Does Cannabis Affect Birth Control?
JUL 11, 2021
How Does Cannabis Affect Birth Control?
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2015 and 2017, 64.9% of women in the US w ...
AUG 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Brain's Version of THC Reduces Seizures, Increases Side Effects
AUG 05, 2021
Brain's Version of THC Reduces Seizures, Increases Side Effects
An endocannabinoid similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that naturally occurs in the brain reduces seizure activity. Ho ...
SEP 16, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use and Exercise- A Dire Need for High-quality Evidence
SEP 16, 2021
Cannabis Use and Exercise- A Dire Need for High-quality Evidence
It should come as no surprise that exercise is good for our health. Regular exercise reduces the risks of serious chroni ...
Loading Comments...