Poland has granted desperate patients a lifeline by voting to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes last week.

  • Lawmakers in Polan have voted to legalise medical cannabis
  • Heavy regulations remain on the type of cannabinoids available
  • Cultivation of medical cannabis in the country is still prohibited

In an overwhelming majority, 443 MPs voted in favour of the move, with only 2 voting against and one abstention. Poland now becomes the largest country in the world allowing its citizens their basic human right of choice of medicine.

There are strict restrictions on the legislation, which will only allow the prescription-only cannabis-based medicines to be made available at pharmacies, with ingredients sourced from abroad.

“Research has consistently shown that cannabinoids are indeed effective at treating epilepsy, especially among young children.”

Cultivation of the medicinal crop was rejected by lawmakers. Instead, cannabis will be imported from abroad. Recreational cannabis remains strictly prohibited under the bill.

Medical cannabis has proven to be an extremely popular policy in Poland. A recent opinion survey, conducted in January, found that 78% of Poles supported the idea that cannabis should be legalised for medicinal purposes.

The bill was tabled last year by Piotr Marzec-Liroy (pictured), a former rapper turned left-wing politician who at the time belonged to the Kukiz’15 anti-establishment movement, now serving as an independent.

Public debate surrounding medicinal marijuana intensified in Poland in 2015 following the controversial firing of a doctor at a Warsaw children’s hospital who had administered cannabinoids to his young epileptic patients on an experimental basis without notifying his superiors.

Research has consistently shown that cannabinoids are indeed effective at treating epilepsy, especially among young children.

The debate was revived in 2016 by the left-leaning lawmaker Tomasz Kalita, who unfortunately died from brain cancer in January this year.

The health minister yielded last year to public pressure, approving refunds of certain specialised treatments involving cannabis-based medicine imported solely at the request of the patient and following special authorisation from the ministry.

Other EU countries to recently approve legislation for medical cannabis include the Republic of Ireland and Germany. Should the UK be the next to follow?