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
APR 26, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
History of Cannabis Dependence Goes Hand in Hand with Poor Mental Health
APR 26, 2020
History of Cannabis Dependence Goes Hand in Hand with Poor Mental Health
As legal restrictions loosen around the recreational use of cannabis, researchers are becoming increasingly concerned ab ...
MAY 01, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can Cannabis Give You a Hangover?
MAY 01, 2020
Can Cannabis Give You a Hangover?
Hangovers from alcohol and other substances are well known. However, just like with alcohol, after using cannabis, also ...
MAY 08, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Why Your Dreams Get More Intense When You Quit Cannabis
MAY 08, 2020
Why Your Dreams Get More Intense When You Quit Cannabis
Upon quitting cannabis, many notice their dreams become a lot more vivid and intense. But why?  To answer that ques ...
JUN 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Prolonged Cannabis Use May Prevent Migraines
JUN 20, 2020
Prolonged Cannabis Use May Prevent Migraines
Between 1% and 2% of the world's population suffers from chronic migraines. Researchers from Israel have now found t ...
JUN 25, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Can CBD Oil Treat Eczema?
JUN 25, 2020
Can CBD Oil Treat Eczema?
Around 30% of Americans are affected by eczema, a common condition known to cause dry skin, itching, irritation, and inf ...
JUL 08, 2020
Health & Medicine
The Myths About CBD and Coronavirus
JUL 08, 2020
The Myths About CBD and Coronavirus
Research collected over the last 20 years suggests that cannabidiol – the primary cannabinoid in CBD oil – h ...
Loading Comments...