While the United States is taking some big steps backwards when it comes to medical pot, the Czech Republic is moving in the opposite direction.
The European country is gearing up to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, which would provide a shot in the arm to similar efforts in the U.S. and other nations.
A government advisory board, spurred by thousands of residents who signed an Internet petition calling for the legalization of medical marijuana, has recommended that the country set up a licensing and regulatory structure to oversee the production, sale and use of medical marijuana.
The government must still approve the measure, but if all goes according to plan the law could go into effect next summer.
This is important to the U.S. medical marijuana industry because it further legitimizes the use of pot to ease pain.
The more countries that move in this direction, the higher the acceptance levels of medical marijuana among lawmakers and voters here at home. In fact, supporters of medical marijuana in the Czech Republic used the situation in America – where 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical pot – to bolster their arguments.
And individual states within the U.S. often point to other areas of the country with medicinal marijuana laws in the same fashion. In time, perhaps they will also highlight the Czech Republic when trying to pave the way for medical pot.