The chorus of medical marijuana reformers in Europe is close to adding another vocal supporter, as Poland moved last Thursday to legalize medical cannabis.
Poland’s Lower House of Parliament voted 440-2 in favour of legalizing medical marijuana and is now poised to join Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and other nations by eliminating the prohibition of cannabis medicine.
Piotr Krzysztof Liroy-Marzec is a popular rapper-turned-politician who has been a Member of Parliament in Poland since 2005. He is also one of the authors of the bill.
“The medical marijuana bill is a is a result of a shared effort by the Coalition for Medical Marijuana — an unofficial group of volunteers,” said Marzec in an interview with Marijuana.com. “I’m one of them and also the speaker of this bill in the Polish Parliament.” Marzec added that the bill was first introduced in February of 2016.
Now that Marzec’s bill has passed the Lower House, he is optimistic, but recognizes that the legislation still needs to jump a couple of other political hurdles before it becomes law. “I hope soon it will be [passed]. My bill is at the final stage of the legislative process and we are waiting for the Senate to give its acceptance and for the President’s signature.”
Marzec said that if the bill is successful, it will allow doctors in Poland to prescribe medical marijuana as a treatment option when all other medicines have failed. Specific conditions were not outlined in the details of the legislation. Language in the bill seeks to grant pharmacists the authority to dispense medicinal cannabis.
Marzec noted that recreational cannabis is still too far-fetched for the Polish Government at this time. “Polish society is not ready for legalization of recreational marijuana yet. The debate about [decriminalizing] possession of small amounts is still ongoing,” he said. “The ruling party, Law and Justice, supported our bill on medical marijuana. They are strongly against legalization of any recreational drugs.”
The Polish Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill this week.