Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 22:50 IST

Ukraine legalises use of medicinal marijuana to treat troops suffering from PTSD

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday, to legalise the use of medical marijuana to ease the stress of Ukrainian soldiers.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
Ukraine legalises medicinal marijuana for troops suffering from PTSD | Image:AP

Kyiv: Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday, to legalise the use of medical marijuana. According to The Hill, the parliament decided to take a step in this endeavour after the war with Russia left thousands of people with post-traumatic stress disorder. As per the reports, the new law will come into effect in six months and it will allow cannabis to be used for scientific and industrial ends. The law which was proposed by the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Smyhal, was passed in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) with 248 votes in favour.

The possible legalisation of medicinal marijuana in the country has been long debated in Ukraine. The debates intensified after the country had to fight a war against Russia. While its opponents claimed that the legalisation of marijuana would ultimately lead to an influx of drugs on the streets of Ukraine, many people argued that medicinal marijuana would help Ukrainian soldiers who are struggling with stress and anxiety. It is important to note that the legislation imposes strict controls on cannabis production and distribution. The parliament made it clear that a doctor's prescription will be required to obtain the medicine containing cannabis and recreational use of cannabis remains a criminal offense.


Former Ukrainian PM condemns the legislation

Meanwhile, Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Timoshenko submitted a bill in the parliament seeking to overturn the decision. The leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party's faction in the Verkhovna Rada noted that Ukraine had long approved of the use of cannabis for medical purposes, especially for treating cancer and epilepsy patients and insisted that there is no need for additional law. “This is not about medical treatment because trillion dollar narcotic drug businesses and drug cartels will bribe their way into the country and a major drug trafficking ring will be established throughout Ukraine,” he said. The legalisation of marijuana in Ukriane for medicinal purposes was advocated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. According to Tass, the first reading of the bill was passed on July 13. 


Published December 22nd, 2023 at 22:50 IST