Tag Archives: czech

Big cannabis money is coming to Prague

 

The American and Canadian moneyed men are coming to Prague with 15 million euros to spend. Together with a couple of Czech Universities they are establishing the International Cannabis and Cannaboids Institute (ICCI). It looks like enough money was spent on “consultancy” so the Czech political system has allowed the deal.

They will seek to treat ill people with cannabis and design individualistic treatment plans for specific illnesses. For those of you without 15 million euros to spend, you can still buy a bucket, some soil and grow your own medical cannabis without the fan fare and lime light. Organically grown cannabis is a powerful medicine that helps treat almost all illness. Our old fashioned system, that requires huge investment money and greedy profits for the top is one of the main problems facing our society but at the same time, more cannabis in society will certainly help alleviate human suffering.

We have entered the cannabis era. Science, medicine and business will now replace the underground growers and try to squeeze as much profit as possible. It will be important that we continue to fight for our right to grow our own medicine. We will closely follow the icci in the coming months, and we hope that more information about the medical benefits of cannabis will help end needless human suffering.

Cannafest is coming back to Prague

cannafest Prague

From the 6th to the 8th of November (this weekend) Cannafest is coming to the Czech Republic again. Manufacturers meet investors who meet hippies who meet the public. Cannabis, ladies and gentlemen, is going main stream. On show is the best growing equipment on the planet, presented by some of the legends of our industry. There will be demonstrations of new hemp products and even a hemp massage area! Being a complete cannabis geek however, you will find Praguepot sitting quietly at the back of the professional conferences that are held in the left wing of the exhibition halls. There are many interesting speakers this year. From Israel, Yehuda Baruch is back in Prague to speak about cannabis and driving. Israel has been at the cutting edge of medical cannabis use so Yehudi’s talk should be very informative. From Encod Janko Belin will be speaking about next Aprils UN meeting UNGASS. At this meeting in New York, it is widely believed that cannabis will finally be freed from the criminal prohibition that has been forced on the medicinal plant. But there is one speaker that is above them all. Cristina Sanchez is to cannabis as Neil armstrong is to travel. Along with some other Spanish scientists, it was her work that gave scientific fact to the claims that cannabis kills cancer cells. If you want to catch a glimpse of medical cannabis royalty, then join me at 17:15 on Saturday, as she speaks about cannabis and cancer treatment.

There is the usual smokers area with cool live music and there are even a few interesting after parties. If you are visiting you can email us(praguepot@gmail.com) for a list of venues. The Czech Republic has always been open to cannabis, and as the plant emerges from American prohibition, Prague is a fitting location for this annual cannabis information event. You can find all details of this event on cannafest’s website here. 

Cannabis conference in the heart of Europe

Prague medical cannabis conference

Last week praguepot attended a medical marijuana conference in Prague. Four days of science and activism was our idea of an adult Disneyland! We got to see the relationship between cannabis and evolving scientific evidence supporting the claim that pot is in fact medicine. The major conflict of the conference was between pharmaceutical standards for production and dosing of medicine and the reality that cannabis is a natural herb with varying potencies and properties.

Big pharmaceutical actors are rushing to break cannabis down into their various compounds. Synthetic THC and CBD are individually tested on poor lab rats and then people. Individually these chemicals can have positive and negative effects. The only really negative talk of the conference was about the effects of synthetic cannabinoids. Spice or K2  as it is sometimes known can be lethally dangerous for people. After a couple of exposures to synthetic cannabis some unlucky people have had severe kidney problems. I won’t go all geeky on you with the science but basically some of the synthetic chemicals cause inflammation which can lead to kidney failure.

When I pointed out to a politician attending the conference that pot prohibition leads some people to smoke synthetic cannabis and risk very real health dangers, he just shrugged. Until cannabis is legal the system’s hands are tied. So why isn’t cannabis legal? Well, I am afraid we are caught in a frustrating situation. Real scientific evidence is missing from the argument. Synthetic chemicals have been examined. In fact most of the scare stories we have been reading over the last decade or two have been based on the studies of these synthetic experiments. Doing scientific research on pot is very difficult because no two plants have the exact same chemical make up. Even on one plant, different bud sites will have slightly different THC and CBD levels. This is a nightmare for well intentioned scientists seeking to examine the plant. It looks like our favorite herb will need a whole new way of testing before it can be cleared by science.

This is  at the heart of the hold up. Science can’t give a clear answer to law makers, so law makers can’t easily give the green light to legalization for fear of being blamed for a zombie apocalypse. While scientists can’t give clear data on cannabis, the herb is widely expected to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry. Bullish scientists spoke of half of all medication commonly   prescribed being replaced by some form of cannabis. This is amazing news for citizens. Getting the medicine you need in a non toxic form will only promote health. For big pharma however, it is their worst case scenario. A new, sensible approach to cannabis is required. There are thousands of different strains with slightly different medical applications. It is time to let Mother Nature have a chance to heal the masses. This is an exciting moment in history. The reintroduction of nature into medicine. Yes, it is a little messy, but when you use cannabis to treat an illness, you don’t get harmful side effects.

Medical marijuana in Prague

Prague medical marijuana

Organically grown cannabis can be an effective treatment for many of today’s most serious illnesses. There is a new Czech law allowing access to pot but so far there has only been a small number of people who have actually been prescribed the natural remedy. The problem is Czech doctors are not educated about the benefits of the plant. In America, cannabis is routinely used to treat the following health issues :
Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury/Disease, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Severe Arthritis, Epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, Eating Disorders, Arthritis, Auto Accident, Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain Injury, Chronic Pain, Chronic Nausea, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Kidney Failure/Dialysis, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Migraines, Muscular Dystrophy, Muscle Spasms, Parkinson’s Disease, Sleep Disorders, Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Hepatitis C, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Back & Neck Problems, Depression, Sexual Dysfunction.

Every day in Prague there are people putting toxic prescription drugs in their body to treat these health problems. While fighting one illness the pills cause other negative health side effects. We can avoid this by using cannabis. Czech doctors with no knowledge of cannabis however, are simply not going to prescribe it. So for the many sick patients out there, the underground cannabis market is the only pharmacy they can turn to. As a society we must value both those actually suffering and science. Once it was known that marijuana helps sick people it should have been embraced. America is moving towards fully accepting the medical benefits of the plant, Prague is letting its people suffer.

Lazy, self interest and ignorance is this city’s current strategy. We can do better and there are people out there passionate about bringing cannabis to the center of medical care. We have been sold a lie that medicine can only come in a pharmaceutical pill bottle. It is a new day in a new year and we are at last starting to head in the right direction. Last year’s American pot headlines were a joy to watch. This year we need to confront our European family into action. This will hopefully be the year of the European cannabis social clubs. For the sake of patients who need medical marijuana, these clubs can’t come out into the open quickly enough.

Czech medical marijuana

Czech medical marijuana

You hear of dramatic illness reversals due to cannabis. Epileptic seizures that stop after the first administration of cannabis high in CBD. The research into cannabis’s medicinal value is growing and proving the benefits of the plant. Unfortunately for cancer, epileptic, multiple sclerosis  and chronic pain suffering patients the Czech medical marijuana system is in a disgraceful state. The law has been passes allowing doctors to provide cannabis to seriously ill patients since April of 2013 but patients have still not had access to medical marijuana. The government gave out an import license to a plastic container manufacturer, Elkoplast Slušovice sro, and we have been waiting for the medical marijuana ever since.

A poor distribution network has meant few pharmacies have access to medical marijuana. They don’t have the required software to provide an electronic receipt to order the medicine. Also doctors don’t want to prescribe it due to a lack of information on its medical properties. For a European country that is in the top three per capita  marijuana users, it is a sad state of affairs that the government has not done their research on the plant. The Czech drugs agency is falling behind the wide spread international movement that is embracing medical marijuana. Czech patients are suffering for the medical professions ignorance.

The Czech government are also in talks with potential suppliers of medical marijuana. When the required pound of flesh is paid, you can enter the market and become a marijuana producer. There was a competition earlier in the year to obtain a medical marijuana license but we are still waiting for the results. The Czech Republic is a notoriously corrupt society. During communism everyone was taught how to be corrupt. It is the normal way of doing business and the ones who profited the most from this system are now in charge. I can only presume that government officials are trying to work out how exactly they can make money from this new industry. Who bribes who to get the job done. That is nice if you are a high ranking civil servant with a Swiss bank account and no morals, but what about the suffering of a child with severe epilepsy? There are groups of hard working activists interested in these issue in the Czech Republic. Their voices get drowned out in a sea of other complaints that Czechs have as we try to emerge from the long shadow cast by the corrupting nature of this countries communist past.

This is not a hopeless situation however. Do not underestimate the resourcefulness of the Czech people. Patients and growers are connecting with each other in spite of the law and risks involved. The nature of marijuana allows it to be spread regardless of the restrictions placed upon it. I am hopeful that the legalize movement here and across Europe can inspire a change in the Czech system. Patients that can benefit from medical marijuana should be allowed to.  Until a united voice speaks on behalf of the ill, we will see lazy, greedy figures in places of authority seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of other’s suffering.

Prague marijuana

prague marijuana

From the heart of Europe, sitting in a small comfortable café looking out at the passing Prague people, I can only dream of the Colorado pot scene. We don’t have dispensaries over here in the Czech Republic. We are not Amsterdam, even if we are not too far off. This is a city full of pot smokers. Unlike in the western world, where Uncle Sam was playing the same hypnotic anti pot propaganda over and over, the Czechs skipped that bit, and when freedom came, it came with the scent of cannabis.

prague marijuana

The first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel was a writer and intellectual. I have never heard that Havel smoked pot, even though I’m sure there were at least people around him that did. He was interested in freedom. During communism he had been put in jail because the authorities didn’t like the way he thought nor the things that interested him. He suffered ill-health as a result of his incarceration, but he never got bitter. Havel knew he was on the right side of the argument, and even though that meant he had to wait for society to catch up, he did not waiver from his truth.

prague marijuana

Legalizing marijuana is not the same thing as the fall of a communist dictatorship but they are linked. Under communism, regardless of the facts the authorities told you what to do and think. With the current cannabis debate we have the same type of officials disregarding common sense and facts, as they draw their own conclusions based on their version of reality.

In a practical way what does that mean to Prague marijuana? In America, they have their dispensaries and strain choice after making an impressive U-turn on the issue. Over here we must make do with what we can find. Sativa or indica is not a choice we normally get to make unless you know a grower. As America begins to perfect the new green business, we in Europe must await our leaders pontifications on the matter. The science is pointing to the ignorance of making pot illegal but we will see how long it actually takes our dear leaders to drop the charade that marijuana is a dangerous substance. The day will come when we have Czech marijuana dispensaries, selling Czech grown pot. To celebrate I will wear my favorite short legged trousers ( big president Havel was famous for wearing short legged pants) and toast the memory of the giant that was president Havel and his love of freedom.

prague marijuana

 

 

Barcelona’s Cannabis clubs

cannabis

There is a lot to love about Barcelona. The food, climate, people, football and least we forget, their pot clubs. Prohibition of marijuana has failed. Pumping money into police budgets and prisons is a waste of public funds. It is twice as bad when you consider that pot is a safer and healthier alternative to alcohol. You can easily buy marijuana in every city on the planet. It is a plant that has been around long before us, and by the way our species is acting, will be here long after the apes have taken over !!

In Barcelona, you join a cannabis club by showing your id and paying a membership fee. The clubs themselves are run as  communities. You can find fantastic pot, at a decent price in a relaxed and safe environment. While Prague has a high tolerance for marijuana, you can have up to 10 grams for personal use, we still don’t have a formal agreement between smokers and the law.

There are klubs here in Prague that are attempting to establish themselves as pot clubs, but time will tell if they are successful or not. Over the last month some quite famous pot places here have been raided and shut down. It seems even as we get closer to legalization here in the Czech Republic, there is still pent up police aggression looking to hassle non violent people. Cannabis clubs are a step in the right direction. Why the police and politicians consider ignoring the situation rather than coming to a sensible agreement with their fellow human beings I will never know.

I guess until the day comes when you can freely and openly buy pot, we must rely on the old fashioned way of getting the herb. Find a good grower and make friends 🙂

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