Ukraine lawmakers vote to legalize medical marijuana and help ease stress from the war with Russia

By Isaac M December 21, 2023

Ukraine’s parliament voted Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana, after the war with Russia left thousands of people with post-traumatic stress disorder that many believe could be eased by the drug.

The new law, which will come into effect in six months’ time and which also allows cannabis to be used for scientific and industrial ends, passed by 248 votes in the 401-seat parliament in Kyiv. A full breakdown of the vote wasn’t immediately available. The law was proposed by Prime Minister Denys Smyhal.

The possible legalization of medical marijuana has long been debated in Ukraine. Many people argued in favor of the benefits the treatment can bring, while others feared legalizing medical marijuana would lead to an influx of drugs on the streets of Ukrainian cities.

The debate gained new momentum after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. The Kremlin’s forces have repeatedly used powerful missiles to blast civilian targets across the country, with devastating consequences.

Many people are believed to be suffering from stress and anxiety.

The legislation imposes strict controls on cannabis production and distribution. A doctor’s prescription will be required to obtain any medicine containing cannabis. Recreational use of cannabis remains a criminal offense.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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