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Govt 'won't challenge' Abruzzo law allowing medical cannabis

Region legalizes therapeutic use of marijuana-based drugs

07 March, 19:20
Govt 'won't challenge' Abruzzo law allowing medical cannabis (ANSA) - Rome, March 7 - The Italian government has decided not to challenge a regional law that would permit the supply of cannabis-based prescription drugs in Abruzzo, government sources said. The decision would open the door for legal marijuana use for therapeutic purposes in the central Italian region. The case refers to a law passed this past January. The area has been on the vanguard of cannabis legislation in Italy for years. In 2010 a multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferer there received Italy's first legal batch of cannabis supplied to an individual for therapeutic purposes.

That came after a landmark decision by a court in the Abruzzo town of Avezzano, which ruled that the local health authority was obliged to provide marijuana free in certain cases for therapeutic purposes.

Cannabis is known to have beneficial effects for a number of medical conditions, although sufferers frequently have to obtain it illegally to take advantage of them.

In the case of MS, the muscle tremor and spasticity symptoms of the disease, which affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate leading to a range of problems, can be eased by the drug, according to some clinical tests.

Supporters of marijuana therapies say conventional treatments for these symptoms are often less effective or cause major side effects.