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Ukraine Legalises Medical Marijuana To Help Ease Stress From Russia War

The Ukraine parliament has adopted a new law legalising the medical use of marijuana in a bid to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by the ongoing Russian war. According to the official website of the lawmaking body, the parliament approved the bill on Thursday that would allow marijuana to be used for the “necessary treatment of oncological diseases and post-traumatic stress disorders”. The law was adopted with 284 votes in favour, 16 votes against, 33 abstentions and 40 members not voting. 

The new law will now come into effect after six months, as per news agency ANI. The law would regulate “the circulation of hemp plants (Cannabis) for medical, industrial purposes, scientific and scientific-technical activities to create conditions for expanding patient access to the necessary treatment of oncological diseases and post-traumatic stress disorders, received as a result of the war,” according to the final version of the bill.

The parliament’s chair, Ruslan Stefanchuk, said, “The list of conditions and ways of using cannabis medicines will be determined by the Ministry of Health”.

The possible legalisation of medical marijuana has long been debated in Ukraine. The proposal was debated and reviewed for over a year after its introduction in 2022. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky also threw his support behind the push for the legalisation of medical marijuana. In June 2023, he even addressed his country’s parliament calling for the drug’s legalisation. 

“We must finally fairly legalise cannabis-based medicines for all those who need them, with appropriate scientific research and controlled Ukrainian production,” Mr Zelensky had said, according to a translation from the local press. 

“All the world’s best practices, all the most effective policies, all the solutions, no matter how difficult or unusual they may seem to us, must be applied to Ukraine so that Ukrainians, all out citizens, do not have to endure the pain, stress and trauma of war,” he added.

Now, according to the parliament website, the Health Ministry will determine details on the specific conditions and medicines permitted under the new law. “The law provides citizens with access to the necessary treatment for serious illnesses, including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorders caused by war. The list of conditions and methods of using cannabis medicines will be determined by the Ministry of Health,” the official website read.

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