• Greek politicians voted in favor of Greece’s newest Medical Cannabis Bill
  • The Bill will legalise the cultivation and manufacturing of medical cannabis in Greece
  • The Bill faced opposition from left-leaning Parties, such as New Democracy and the Communist Party

Greece’s Parliament voted last Thursday to approve the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The Government Coalition Government, SYRIZA, and the Independent Greeks (ANEL), the Democratic Coalition and Potami voted in favour.

The bill, perhaps surprisingly, faced opposition from New Democracy, the Communist Party, Golden Dawn and the Centrists Union.

Discussing the bill, Andreas Xanthos, Greece’s Health Minister, said: “We are discussing the licensing of a single, integrated unit that includes production, processing and production of finished medicinal products of hemp.

“That’s what it is about.”

Despite the bill being ‘neither complete clearly defined,’ Opposition Parties voted in favour due to viewing it as a ‘first step in the right direction.’

New Democracy, who voted against the Bill, claimed to have not done so in opposition to medical cannabis, but rather against the manner in which the Government presented the bill.

Their fear is that there were not enough safeguards in the bill to prevent uncontrolled cultivation, production and sale of medical cannabis, leading to black market leakage.

The Communist Party went as far as calling on the Government to withdraw the bill, accusing ministers of opening up the sector to “vultures” and “murderous multinationals.”

We are discussing the licensing of a single, integrated unit that includes production, processing and production of finished medicinal products of hemp.
– Health Minister, Andreas Xanthos

While Greek patients are one step closer to accessing legal cannabinoid medications, British patients are still being punished by their Government for having the audacity to want access to the medication of their choice.

The Elizabeth Brice Bill, which would have rescheduled cannabis from Schedule I to II in the UK, was filibustered by Labour MPs, Sandy Martin MP and Cat Smith MP, meaning it will be postponed until June.

Some cannabis activists share the same concern of the Greek Communists: that legalisation will only come in the form of prescription, pharmaceutical medications.

The only thing which is currently certain is that cannabis remains illegal in the UK for medicinal purposes, and the Government views it as having “no medicinal properties.”

As children like the brave young Alfie Dingley have shown, however, cannabis truly does show enormous medical potential. The only way to tap into that potential is by legalising.