Science

Here's Why The Italian Army Has Started Growing Hundreds Of Pounds Of Marijuana

This is definitely not a story I expected to see come across my computer screen this morning. The Italian army, in an effort to reduce the cost of medical marijuana for its citizens, has started growing marijuana. The plants are grown in a secure room at a pharmaceutical plant in the city of Florence, according to the Italian paper Corriere della Sera.

"The aim of this operation is to make available to a growing number of patients a medical product which isn't always readily available on the market, at a much better price for the user," Italian Colonel Antonio Medica told the newspaper.

Medical marijuana is used to treat a host of conditions, particularly chronic pains and terminal illnesses. It is legal for doctors to prescribe the plant medicinally and pharmacies sell it. The cost isn't covered by the state, however, which makes it unaffordable for almost everyone. The cost in most pharmacies for marijuana is $40 per gram. In Colorado, where the plant was legalized in the 2012 election, a gram of marijuana is around $15 at the high end.

"We're aiming to lower the price to under 15 euros, maybe even around 5 euros per gram," said Col Medica.

Private cultivation of marijuana in Italy is still against the law, as is selling the drug yourself.

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