Last month, Marijuana.com reported that the Lower House of Parliament in Poland voted 440-2 in favor of medical marijuana legalization. Today, the path was paved all the way to President Andrzej Duda.
Piotr Krzysztof Liroy-Marzec is a Member of Parliament and one of the authors of the bill. He has been updating Marijuana.com as the legislation has progressed.
“On June 29th the Senate – the Upper House of the Polish Parliament – voted to pass the bill,” said Marzec in an interview today. “But [at that time] a senator from the ruling party presented an amendment blocking veterinarians from issuing prescriptions.”
Marzec feels that the forced, last-minute change on behalf of the senator was just to delay legislation. “The only rationale for this amendment is propaganda. The law [the senator suggested] is already in force as a part of the Law on Medicinal Products,” he said. “Despite all that, both the committee and the Senate voted for the amendment, and routed it to the Lower House’s Health Care Committee.”
Marzec went on to add that two days ago, on July 5th, the Health Care Committee gave their recommendation to move the bill ahead.
Today, all roadblocks have been cleared. “During today’s vote, despite the opposition’s resistance, the amendment has been passed. Now the only thing it needs is the President’s signature.”
In the bill for medical cannabis, there is no specification as to which illnesses should have the medicine prescribed. It simply states that medicinal marijuana can be used when all other medicines have failed for the patient.
Poland will not permit domestic cultivation, which only leaves the option of importing existing medicine from places that do so, such as Canada.
“Representatives of the ruling party have excluded national cultivation. The law includes only marijuana imports,” said Marzec, but he is already appealing that decision. “We’ve prepared a paper with the revision of this bill, which includes national marijuana cultivation. Representatives have ruled to meet up to three months after entering into a conversation on this issue.”
There is no set date on when the President will sign this into law, but it 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.”
Once Poland officially legalizes medical marijuana, nearly 70% of the European Union’s 508 million inhabitants will live in a country with laws that permit the use of medical marijuana.