Will Ukraine join the “Cannabis world”?

On May 15, a committee of the Supreme Council of Ukraine supported a draft law on legalization of medical cannabis. It was registered in the Supreme Council on May 20, under the number 10313. 

This legislative process was sparked by a petition posted on the website of the Parliament of Ukraine last January, calling for the legalization of medical cannabis. By March 12, more than 25 thousand people had voted in support. Ukrainian Health Minister Uliana Suprun supported the decision of the parliamentary committee and explained the therapeutic effect of marijuana: “In Ukraine, cannabis can relieve pain for at least 2 million people.” Cannabis is used as a medicine in 14 countries around the world. In another 32 countries, it is allowed fully or in part.

According to a survey of more than 2 thousand citizens of Ukraine, conducted by the independent sociological organization “Rating,” 30% fully support legalization of medical marijuana for patients who have certain health problems, and another 28% support it to some degree. “For some patients, marijuana can alleviate the symptoms or the pain,” the report stated. Most of those who agreed are wealthy young men living in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Nevertheless, 33% of those surveyed spoke out strongly against the legalization of cannabis.

Consideration of the bill began on June 6 of this year.  On that same day, a social event entitled “Will my deputy stop the pain?” was organized. Patients of oncology, pharmaceutical-resistant forms of epilepsy, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other diseases gathered to demand that their deputies vote for the draft law 10313.

The data of more than 12,000 world studies and the Ukrainian Association of Medical Cannabis showed that marijuana improves the health condition of patients with arterial hypertension, cancer and those who have experienced a myocardial infarction. Cannabis also improves the situation for Alzheimer’s patients, epilepsy, autism and asthma. According to the president of the Ukrainian-German Medical Association, pediatrician Andrey Penkov, cannabis can be combined with othermedical treatment.

Hemp itself is legal in Ukraine. Ropes and fabrics are made of it. Only the top of the plant is prohibited, which contains the most cannabinoids, which have a narcotic effect. Elena Sotnik, a deputy from the  “Samopomich Association,” which participated in the signing of draft laws, answers the question of how cultivation of marijuana by Ukrainians would be controlled: “A natural person will not be able to obtain a license. These will be laboratories, or even farms … Farmers will be able to grow cannabis if they meet the criteria. Among them  are enhanced security, and compliance with the quality of cannabis for medical purposes, “- she explained.

However, it is not clear what the controls would mean for  sale of cannabis via the Internet. There it is possible to buy seeds anonymously for  about 15-71 euros. Many online stores selling cannabis are full of promising headlines: “100% yield and high quality.” “Varietal cannabis seeds with care of you!” And “Buy powerful cannabis varieties.” Right now, there is only one limitation in the use of the site: a pop-up window that asks you to confirm that you are already 18 years old. 

Others honestly write: “Approximately 1 out of 10 marijuana smokers will become addicted. For young people who start smoking hemp before the age of 18, this number increases to 1 out of 6.”h

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