Yesterday, marijuana.com reported that Poland is continuing to push forward with its Medical Cannabis Bill. The bill, which was recently voted upon in the Lower House of Parliament in Poland voted overwhelmingly in favour of legalising the herb, with 440 voting in favour and just 2 voting against. Piotr Krzysztof Liroy-Marzec, a member of parliament and author of the Medical Cannabis Bill has stated that whilst there is no set date, legalisation is expected to happen soon.
“Parliament adopted the amendment [today], now we are waiting for the President,” said Marzec. “I’m hoping that is next week. I’m trying to arrange a meeting with the President on Monday or Tuesday to talk about it.”
The bill does not specifically state which ailments or conditions patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis for, only that those who have seen no positive response to traditional medications or treatments will be illegible to have it prescribed for them.
Poland are not currently set to permit the cultivation of cannabis, allowing for imports only from countries with legal access. However, parliament member Piotr Krzysztof Liroy-Marzec is said to be appealing that decision and is drafting another bill to allow for the national cultivation of cannabis.
This is yet more great news for our EU brothers and sisters, but unfortunately for recreational and medical patients in the UK we can only continue to look on in awe as yet another forward-thinking EU government legalises cannabis, while ours dig around their vintage 1970's sofas trying to find their original copy of Reefer Madness to school the masses.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has stated that cannabis will be made available to medical patients for a number of medical conditions. This makes Greece the sixth European country to legalise cannabis for medical use, putting them in line with Germany, and countries like Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain which already have legal medicinal cannabis.
The Prime Minister also announced that cannabis in the country will see its classification go from Table A - the equivalent of our Schedule 1 - to Table B, which is a class reserved for drugs with proven medicinal value like opium or methadone. This change means that cannabis will be officially recognised to have medicinal value. If someone could have him call May for a chat, that'd be great!.
Greece has a long history with medicinal cannabis, dating back nearly 2,500 years according to historical texts and had been cultivating the plant for its fibres for even longer than that. Despite this rich history Greece took a harsh view on cannabis and its punishments were harsh in comparison to other EU countries. They even went so far as to once arrest a woman for importing hemp powder.
If other countries that have legalised medicinal cannabis are anything to go by the Greece economy is about to get a very big boost. It is yet uncertain as to if Greece will eventually seek full legalisation for cannabis, only time will tell but at least they've popped a shoe in the dispensary door, so to speak.
“From now on, the country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal.” Mr Tsipras said at a press conference, as reported by the Greek Government Gazette.
If a once strict country like Greece can legalise cannabis for medicinal use, it really does make you wonder what has to happen in the UK for the current government to wake up!
This morning the petition above hit 70k and just two days ago when I added my signature it was only at a reasonable 10k. The petition will receive a government response at just 10,000 signatures and at 100,000 will be put forward for the chance to be discussed in parliament.
It comes at a time when a handful of local police forces have publicly stated that they will no longer be prioritising cannabis crimes and instead will be using discretion amongst complaints and those found to be growing cannabis to differentiate between small medicinal grows and cash crops run by gangs. The one thing that kicked off this small wave of compassion from some local police forces was the very public announcement from Durham's Police Chief that they would no longer be wasting time on targeting small medicinal grows and those they come across will be dealt with using discretion.
All the evidence, both scientific and anecdotal, points to the regulation and legalisation of drugs to better tackle the harms caused when misused. The government's own specialist advisory teams have repeatedly advised that reform is the best option as it would save millions (if not billions), open up brand new industries previously controlled by drug cartels, and heal the damage that has been caused to our societies and countries by prohibition.
If you're for rational drugs policy and think it's high-time the UK took the grown-up and sensible approach to drugs policy, please sign and share this petition.