Italian army grows marijuana – level 3

20-10-2014 07:00

Last year, Italy legalised marijuana for medicinal purposes and now the country is drafting in the army to make cheaper batches of the drug.

Not many patients initially signed up when the drug was legalised, largely because of the stigma it has in Catholic Italy and the cost.

Though Italian doctors can already prescribe cannabis to relieve pain, nausea and treat symptoms of illnesses like multiple sclerosis, only a few dozen patients actually paid the almost 38 euros.

But by using the army to produce the drug, the country’s health minister hopes it will halve the cost.

“The aim obviously is to reduce the cost. That’s the motive behind of what we’re doing. We believe we can become self-sufficient and more than just halve the production costs and thus, eventually, also reduce administration costs.”

Starting next year, a high-security lab in a military compound in Florence will produce cannabis for Italy’s healthcare system.

Difficult words: legalise (make something illegal be legal), draft in (to bring somebody into a team so they will do something), batch (a quantity of goods produced at one time), initially (in the beginning), stigma (loss of respect), cannabis (a scientific name for marijuana), nausea (a feeling of sickness), multiple sclerosis (a serious illness which makes it difficult to move, speak and see), thus (as a result of this), compound (many buildings in an enclosed area).



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