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Ukraine: Cannabis for medicinal purposes increasingly close to Zelensky's signature



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After undergoing rigorous analysis, the draft law regulating medicinal cannabis in Ukraine has successfully overcome a key legislative hurdle and is now progressing through committee deliberations. If all goes as expected, final approval will follow in Ukraine's unicameral legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, before being signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The proposed bill aims to establish a comprehensive national medical cannabis program, offering a glimmer of hope to patients battling debilitating illnesses such as cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from the country's recent conflict. . This progressive reform initiative underscores Ukraine's commitment to providing holistic healthcare solutions, especially in the wake of the violent consequences of the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian MP Olga Stefanyshyna, a staunch supporter of this legislation, revealed that an impressive set of almost 1000 amendments were meticulously analyzed before the committee reached a consensus. The goal was simple: speed up the delivery of vital medicines to patients. Stefanyshyna shared her optimism, stating: “We did everything we could to ensure patients could access their medicines quickly. Medical cannabis is about to become part of Ukraine's history. We look forward to the successful second reading.”

Diversified healthcare: Beyond cancer and PTSD

Although the initial text of the proposed law specifically define cancer and war-induced post-traumatic disorder as eligibility conditions, the deputy Mykhailo Radutskyi highlighted a broader perspective. He recognized the daily calls from patients battling various illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Radutskyi highlighted the urgent need for medicinal cannabis preparations, revealing that more than two million Ukrainians are in urgent need of these treatments. Post-war, this number is expected to increase significantly, particularly among injured defenders suffering from post-traumatic stress.

President Zelensky's support for cannabis

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been an outspoken supporter of the legalization of medical cannabis. His impassioned plea to parliament echoed the global call for compassionate health policies. Zelensky stressed the importance of implementing the world's best practices, stressing that Ukrainians should not unnecessarily endure the pain, stress and trauma of war. He stressed the importance of fair legalization, combined with rigorous scientific research and controlled Ukrainian production, which guarantees the availability of cannabis-based medicines for those who need them.

Paradigm shift: contrasting policies with Russia

Ukraine's progressive stance on cannabis for medicinal purposes stands in stark contrast to its long-time adversary, Russia. While Ukraine is a pioneer in cannabis policy reform, Russia has steadfastly opposed changes in global cannabis policy, even condemning countries like Canada for their national legalization efforts.

In conclusion, the steps taken by Ukraine towards legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes reflect a compassionate commitment to the well-being of its citizens. This landmark legislation not only signifies a triumph over legislative challenges, it also represents a transformative step toward a more compassionate and inclusive healthcare system. As the nation anxiously awaits final approval, the prospect of accessible, regulated medical cannabis offers hope to countless people struggling with debilitating conditions, ushering in a new era of healing and compassion.


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