Wednesday News Briefing
Senate OKs medicinal marijuana; Czech Army to join Mali mission
Posted: January 30, 2013
A bill legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana passed through the Senate today.
A bill legalizing medicinal marijuana was passed by the Senate today, and can take effect after being signed by President Vaclav Klaus. Hemp will become available on e-prescription in pharmacies later this year. The upper house passed the bill by the votes of 67 of the 74 senators present. Senators from the senior opposition Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) pointed out that many patients would be unable to afford hemp unless its high price is at least partly covered by public health insurers, who oppose the plan.
The Cabinet today discussed the "rather serious" issue of Germany-bound drugs produced in Czech border areas. A special working group was set up to deal with the situation, PM Petr Nečas told journalists. Interior Minister Jan Kubice was entrusted with the establishment of the working group. The numbers of both drug smugglers caught in Germany and pervitine labs revealed in the Czech Republic has grown, said Nečas.
The government is considering equipping and training a Malian army battalion as part of the Europan Union's operation in conflict-stricken Mali, Nečas said today, adding that Prague is currently negotiating with France regarding the collaboration. Sending military instructors to Mali would require the consent of Parliament, Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) told journalists after the Cabinet meeting. He said the Foreign Ministry will send another three million crowns to Mali in humanitarian aid.
Meat production fell by 5.3 percent to 458,329 tons in slaughter weight in 2012, with only poultry production rising, and milk purchases increased by 3.4 percent to 2.382 billion liters, the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) said today. Last year's figure includes 65,244 tons of beef, 469 tons of veal, 239,753 tons of pork, 165 tons of sheep meat (of which 119 tons is lamb meat), 5 tons of goat meat, 80 tons of horse meat and 152,613 tons of poultry meat.
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Tags: czech republic, czech republic news, petr necas, medicinal marijuana, czech army, eu mali.