Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna blocks signing of medical cannabis legalization bill, plans legal action

Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko

Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) parliamentary faction has blocked the signing of a bill legalizing the use of medical cannabis, which was approved by the 248 deputies of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada on Dec. 21, MP Yaroslav Zalizniak reported on Telegram.

The bill will remain blocked until mid-January when it may potentially be unblocked by the parliament and signed by the president.

"And since the law will come into force only in six months, it will start working around July 2024," Zalizniak wrote.

The law was not fully supported by the opposition parties Batkivshchyna and European Solidarity. The leader of Batkivshchyna, Yulia Tymoshenko, who has consistently opposed the initiative, said that the faction intends to appeal to the Constitutional Court to cancel the results of the vote because "the amendments to the bill were considered in a half-empty chamber.”

Read also: Ukraine legalizes medical cannabis: key details and implications

She also believes that the bill "legalizes drug trafficking and the drug mafia in the country," without providing evidence to support her accusations.

European Solidarity co-chair Irina Herashchenko claimed that the text of the bill was more about industrial production than medical cannabis and lacked clear state regulation.

On Dec. 21, the Ukrainian parliament supported the bill on medical cannabis at second reading. It will regulate the circulation of cannabis exclusively for medical, industrial, and scientific activities. Recreational use and distribution will remain a criminal offense.

Medications derived from medical cannabis are used to reduce pain, muscle spasms, treat PTSD and anxiety disorders. They are also beneficial in treating epilepsy, psoriasis, kidney failure; they alleviate pain in cancer patients and those living with HIV.

Read also: Ukrainian doctor supports legalization of medical cannabis to relieve patient suffering

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine