The war is accelerating Ukraine's efforts legalizing medical cannabis

Due to Russia's trauma, the Ukrainian government is considering legalizing medical cannabis.

10 June 2022 Friday 01:52
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The war is accelerating Ukraine's efforts legalizing medical cannabis

Due to Russia's trauma, the Ukrainian government is considering legalizing medical cannabis.

Viktor Liashko, Minister of Healthcare, posted on Facebook Tuesday, aEUR", more than 100 days after the start of the war, that Ukraine's cabinet had passed a bill "regulating the circulation cannabis plants for medical and industrial purposes to create conditions for expanding access for patients to the required treatment for cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the Kyiv Post, the draft bill will now be sent to Ukraine's parliament for approval by at least 226 voters. This is a revised version of the bill that was rejected by lawmakers last summer.

Liashko indicated that there would be more support this time for legalizing medical marijuana.

He wrote, "We know the negative effects of war on mental health." "We are aware of the many people who will require medical treatment because of this impact. We also understand that it is not a good idea to delay.

He stated that the bill would ensure a "full-cycle of cannabis-based drugs production in Ukraine," and stressed that the country would gradually develop its industry instead of relying on imports.

The Health Ministry stated in a statement that the government would have strict control over the cultivation, production, and sale of drugs.

Forbes reports that patients would be able access these products with a doctor's prescription.

Liashko stated that cannabis drugs were not "competitors” to narcotics and that different regulations are used to regulate their distribution. He mentioned communications campaigns that discredit cannabis' medical value.

The Health Ministry says that cannabis can be used to alleviate suffering and improve the treatment of over 50 conditions. This includes PTSD, neurological disorders, and sleep disorders. Liashko said that cannabis-based drugs can also be used to provide palliative care and relieve pain for patients suffering from cancer or HIV.

In recent years, medical marijuana has been legalized in dozens of countries. Advocates and lawmakers in Ukraine have long urged Ukraine to follow suit.

Kira Rudik is a member of Ukraine’s parliament. She noted via Twitter that the Liberal Holos party initiated this bill back in 2019.

According to the Kyiv Post, a poll that Volodymyr Zelenskyy conducted in 2020 showed widespread support for medical marijuana. Nearly 65 percent of respondents supported legalization of medical marijuana to ease pain for terminally ill patients, while 29% opposed.

Ukraine partially legalized certain cannabis products aEUR” synthetic cannabis-like chemicals, dronabinol, and nabilone as well as cannabis extract nuabiximols (aEUR” for medical purposes) last April.

The cannabis legalization bill was resubmitted for revision a few months later after it failed to receive enough votes in Parliament. It received 184 support votes, 33 against votes, and 61 abstentions.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal.

The long-standing relationship between Ukraine and cannabis is a complicated one. They have been cultivating hemp for hundreds of years. Soviet Ukraine was one the largest producers of hemp in the world, and it was used for oil as well as cloth and food.

According to Forbes, Lana Braslavskaia said that the country started to stigmatize cannabis use and its users over time. AskGrowers, a Kyiv-based website about cannabis, has her as the marketing and public relations manager. She says that Ukraine's journey towards legalization of cannabis is just beginning and will be greatly impacted by ongoing war.

She explained that "Before war, we had projections in the company about the legalization first of medical and then recreational cannabis in Ukraine." "The timeframe varied between 5-10 years depending on the changes in power and the growth of a new generation. It is difficult to make a new forecast because it isn't clear when the war will end.



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