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Polish Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis Reaches Parlimentary Committee

November 14, 2016
One result of the European Union’s policy of leaving domestic drug policy to individual member states is that each one chooses its own path to medical cannabis, creating a variety of different regulatory schemes across the continent. In Poland, the Parliament has begun debate on new legislation that would make cannabis available to tens of thousands of Poles with a wide range of health issues.

A parliamentary commission had its first meeting on the matter last month, a response to the tireless efforts of recently formed political movement Kukiz’15 as well as activists from the NGO Wolne Konopie (Free Cannabis Association) and the Coalition of Medical Marijuana, which consists of doctors, lawyers, patients, and patients’ families.

Kukiz’15 is a somewhat controversial political movement created and led by punk rock musician Pawel Kukiz. It currently occupies 36 seats in the Polish Sejm, the lower house of Parliament that consists of 460 deputies. The party’s most vocal proponent of medical cannabis is Piotr-Liroy Marzec, a famous rapper-turned-MP. The day before the commission’s first meeting on Oct. 20, Liroy met with Health Minister Konstanty Radziwiłł to discuss a draft of the new medical cannabis bill. The minister, however, said proposition—which would, among other things, allow patients to grow their own cannabis—goes way too far. Home cultivation is unnecessary, he claimed, nothing that certain cannabis-based medicines are already available to Polish patients.

“It is a good sign that all the assembled members agreed they are willing to work on the bill.”
Jakub Gajewski, director, Wolne Konopie (Free Cannabis Association)

Liroy then appeared on TV and heavily criticized the health ministry. “The situation is unbearable,” he said. “People are dying every day because of the current laws. I am attending their funerals and you should start attending them, too, talk to their families and tell them face to face what you keep saying to media.”

The proposed new law would allow patients to grow cannabis at home and produce their own preparations. Patients would require permission from a regional pharmaceutical inspector and medical authorization by a physician, listed in  a special register of the health ministry.

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Although the minister of health didn’t attend the first committee meeting himself, his first deputy, Jaroslaw Pinkas, was present through the whole session. The discussion made clear that this ministry strongly opposes domestic cultivation and only supports cultivation by the government.

The chairman of the commission, former Health Minister Bartosz Arłukowicz, of Civic Platform, has set a deadline of five weeks, during which nine deputies will take a closer look at the draft and proposed changes. According to Jakub Gajewski, the director of NGO Wolne Konopie, “it is a good sign that all the assembled members agreed they are willing to work on the bill, yet we are afraid that five weeks are not enough for the members to learn all the necessary facts and make the right decisions.”

Lukas Hurt's Bio Image

Lukas Hurt

Lukas Hurt is Leafly’s central and eastern Europe correspondent. Originally from a small town outside Prague, he studied history and English at university. After a stint as a bartender in Ireland, he returned to his home country in 2010, where he now works as a translator, journalist, and editor focusing on cannabis issues. He has advocated for patients and recreational consumers, publishing articles and translating books and scientific studies. He is one of the main contributors to the highly popular Czech cannabis magazine Legalizace.

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  • malcolmkyle

    Jesus specifically told his disciples to “anoint” people. That anointing took place using a specific formula made from a recipe found in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

    That recipe (Exodus 30:23) includes about 6 pounds of “kaneh-bosen”.

    According to many biblical scholars, “kaneh-bosen” was/is Cannabis (Marijuana).
    Most of the diseases mentioned as being healed miraculously after anointing are, curiously, the same ones that cannabis can heal today. Things like epilepsy, leprosy, and “crooked limbs” (an obvious reference to multiple sclerosis).

    Exodus 30:
    23 Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

    Basílica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Nuova di Monreale, Sicily (12th century)
    Jesus heals two blind men on the road to Jericho:
    https://01varvara.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/01-anonymous-christ-heals-the-two-blind-men-on-the-road-to-jericho-duomo-di-monreale-monreale-sicily-it.jpg?w=1024