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Czech Republic: Ministry of Health Proposes Public Health Insurance Companies Reimburse Patients for Medical Cannabis Costs

(Mar. 11, 2019) The Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic has proposed that 90% of patients’ monthly costs for up to 30 grams of medical cannabis be reimbursed by public health insurance companies. (Press Release, Ing. Gabriela Štěpanyová, Spokeswoman for Director of Public Relations Department, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Health Proposes Public Health […]

China: No Immediate Plan to Delete Family Planning from Laws

(Feb. 25, 2019) In a response to a suggestion raised by the National People’s Congress (NPC) delegates, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) states there is no plan to delete references to “family planning” from Chinese laws. The Response, dated September 25, 2018, was published on the NHC website on January 8, 2019. (NHC, Response to […]

Italy: Measures for Simplification of Companies and Public Administration Take Effect

(Feb. 5, 2019) On December 12, 2018, new measures to simplify public administration and promote the economy entered into force in Italy. (Decree-Law No. 135 of December 14, 2018, Urgent Provisions on Supporting and Simplifying Companies and Public Administration) (D.L. No. 135), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.), Dec. 14, 2018, G.U. website (in Italian).) Support for Small […]

Sweden: Changes to Law on National Minorities and Minority Languages Take Effect

(Jan. 28, 2019) On January 1, 2019, provisions expanding rights and protection for Swedish national minorities and minority languages took effect. The new provisions provide that minorities have a right to both elder care and preschool in their native (minority) language. (17, 18 & 18 a §§ Lag om nationell minoriteter [Act on National Minorities] […]

Malaysia: Ban on Smoking in All Eateries Comes into Effect

(Jan. 17, 2019) On January 1, 2019, a ban on smoking at all restaurants and other eateries, including open-air hawker stalls, came into effect in Malaysia. (Ban on Smoking in Malaysian Eateries Takes Effect, STRAITS TIMES (Jan. 2, 2019).) According to the Control of Tobacco Products (Amendment) Regulations 2018, which were issued in December 2018, […]

Germany: Courts’ Obligation to Accommodate Disability at Oral Argument Must Be Balanced Against Other Principles

(Jan. 16, 2019) In an order published on January 3, 2019, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to hear a case in which the complainant requested that oral arguments be conducted in a way to accommodate his Asperger’s syndrome. The Court held that the decision of the regional social court (Landessozialgericht) denying his […]

France: National Medication Safety Agency to Consider Experimenting with Legalized Medical Cannabis

(Jan. 8, 2019) The French agency in charge of evaluating the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products, L’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM) (National Agency for the Safety of Medication), announced on December 27, 2018, that it would consider experimenting with cannabis-based preparations for medical purposes. (L’ANSM souscrit aux premières conclusions du CSST sur […]

New Zealand: Medicinal Cannabis Bill Passed

(Dec. 18, 2018) On December 11, 2018, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill (New Zealand Legislation website), which “will introduce an exception and a statutory defence for terminally ill people to possess and use illicit cannabis and to possess a cannabis utensil; provide a regulation-making power to enable the […]

Japan: High Court Rules Tattooing Is Not a Medical Act

(Nov. 23, 2018) On November 14, 2018, the Osaka High Court acquitted a tattoo artist who had been convicted of violating the Medical Practitioners Act. (Osaka High Ct., Case No. 2017 (u) No. 1117 (Nov. 14, 2018) (in Japanese), posted by defense lawyers, Good Morning website.) Previously, the Osaka District Court had imposed a fine […]

Israel: Legislation Exempting Food Donors from Liability Adopted

(Nov. 1, 2018) On October 22, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) passed the Encouragement of Food Donations Law, 5779-2018 (SEFER HAHUKIM [SH] [BOOK OF LAWS] (official gazette) 5778 No. 2752 p. 10, Ministry of Justice website (in Hebrew; click on issue No. 2752)). The Law exempts donors to food distribution organizations from civil and criminal […]