Medical Cannabis To Be Legalised in Macedonia
Macedonians love cannabis—the proof is in the polls which suggest that around seventy percent of Macedonians support the medical use of marijuana. This post-communist country, and nowadays candidate to the European Union, is making a big step towards pot legalisation for medical purposes and joining fourteen advanced European countries to legalise medical weed. Earlier this month, Macedonian health minister Nikola Todorov announced that amendments to the Law on Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances will make cannabis legal for “people suffering from serious illnesses, such as malignant diseases, multiple sclerosis, HIV, and childhood epilepsy.” Macedonia’s Ministry of Health informed new agencies that it is working closely with foreign specialists to learn more about the safe and efficient use of psychoactive cannabis.
Although people will be not allowed to sell the dry cannabis herb as a medicine yet, cannabis extracts will be available. Beyond a doubt, this is big progress towards marijuana legalisation in Macedonia and for all of Europe as well. The Ministry of Health promises to make smoking medical marijuana legal in a later stage of the project. Many enthusiastic Macedonians are already looking forward to the new business opportunities and how they can turn cannabis into a thriving industry.
WHAT SPURRED THE MOVE?
According to Filip Dostoevski, a legalisation activist within the country, the new law is a result of growing public acceptance of cannabis:
“We are a very small country of two million people where everybody knows everybody and nothing stays secret for a long time. This is the main reason why only 50 percent of Macedonians supported the legalisation of medical cannabis some two years ago, while today it is more than 70 percent. And of course, politicians have suddenly realised they need to jump on the legalisation train too.”
It is worth noting, for now, the recreational use of cannabis remains strictly illegal – although the court system is said to be anecdotally easing up on users as well. Currently, only people’s with certain conditions can be prescribed cannabis extracts until the programme is assessed and rolled out on a larger basis.
Hopefully, Macedonia will set a good example for other European countries that still look at cannabis in a regressive light, and fail to advantages of the healing and pain-relieving benefits it has to offer.