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ARMY

Italian army moves to produce cannabis drugs

The Italian government has plans to produce medical marijuana in a military factory in Florence, national media reported on Friday.

Italian army moves to produce cannabis drugs
The plans could see cannabis drugs available in Italian pharmacies as early as next year. Medical marijuana photo: Shutterstock

Roberta Pinotti, defence minister, and Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin have given their backing to the plans to see the army produce drugs using cannabis, La Stampa said.

If approved the medical marijuana will be cultivated at a chemical plant run by the army, originally used to produce medicines for the military. The plans could see cannabis drugs available in Italian pharmacies as early as next year, the newspaper said.

But although the defence and health ministries have been drawing up protocols to govern the new venture, the plans will not be made official until the end of September.

“From the pharmaceutical point of view, there are no problems with the therapeutic use of cannabis. No one puts the beneficial effects into doubt, but [only if] treated like a medicine,” Lorenzin was quoted as saying.

The plans are for a strictly-controlled production line and will not involve the broader legalization of cannabis for non-medical use.

SEE ALSO: Spanish region set to legalize medical marijuana

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DRUGS

Italian toddler hospitalized after mistaking cannabis for chocolate

A 14-month-old boy is recovering in hospital in the town of Cerignola, southern Italy, after he accidentally ate cannabis, newspapers reported on Thursday.

Italian toddler hospitalized after mistaking cannabis for chocolate
To be fair, hash does look a lot like chocolate. Photo: rbspace/Depositphotos.

The boy was rushed to the emergency room on Friday night with difficulty breathing, the Corriere del Mezzogiorno said. The boy, whose condition was serious, is now said to be out of danger. 

He tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, TCH, the chemical compound in cannabis that causes its psychological effects.

His parents told police that their son probably ate a piece of hash – cannabis resin, which typically comes in a dark-brown block – believing it was chocolate.

Police have opened an investigation. Hash is illegal in Italy, as is marijuana, except for limited medical and religious use.

Despite that fact, some three million kilos of the drug are consumed in Italy each year.