Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Yesterday, President Duda signed Poland’s medical cannabis bill into law, making Poland the latest European Union member country to permit the use of medical marijuana.

Cannabis reform in Poland has moved fast and steady in the last couple of months.

Near the end of June, a bill to allow medical marijuana in the European nation was overwhelmingly voted forward by Poland’s Lower House of Parliament. The proposed legislation had incredible support with 440 in favour and 2 against.

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana

In the first week of July, the nation’s Health Care Committee gave their recommendation for legalization to move forward. This approval effectively paved the way to the office of President Andrzej Duda who signed the bill into law on July 20th.

Pharmacists in the Polish nation will soon be able to dispense cannabis, once it is available by import, to those with a doctor’s prescription. Products that will be available in Poland include raw cannabis, tinctures, resin, and other extracts.

Qualifying conditions will include chronic pain, nausea and vomiting from cancer treatment, multiple sclerosis, and drug resistant epilepsy, but there are no specific conditions laid out in the legislation. This intentional open-endedness allows doctors to prescribe cannabis based on new research that comes out. At this time, however, patients will not be refunded for the purchase of cannabis.

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Initially, the legislation put forth for medical marijuana was that patients would be able to cultivate their own, but amendments to the bill made the import of raw cannabis the status quo, with doctors and pharmacists as the drug’s gatekeepers. There were also additional amendments stipulating that veterinarians will not be allowed to prescribe cannabis.

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuan

The bill effectively goes into law in October and a cannabis institute is being set up to educate doctors, pharmacists, and the public on how to move forward.

 

“We sent [a to-do list]to the government to let them know what they need to prepare,” said MP Piotr Liroy-Marzec in an interview this morning with Marijuana.com.

Liroy-Marzec is one of the authors of the bill and arguably its greatest champion. “The Polish Institute of Cannabis will be starting right now. Education on cannabis is what Poland needs, for the doctors, judges, and pharmacists.”

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuanas

Liroy-Marzec is still fighting for domestic cultivation, which he feels is an important step, but for the moment, importing cannabis will be the priority for patients who need it.

 

Liroy-Marzec is thrilled that Poland now has legal medical cannabis legislation. He added that the next steps for him are to convince the government that domestic cultivation is necessary. He is hoping that in a few years, they may even consider the decriminalization of adult-use cannabis as well.

 

For the moment, Liroy-Marzec and the Polish nation are focusing on the win of the day, which is medical marijuana for those in need. Not a bad win at all.

 

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America’s First July 4th, Courtesy of Hemp

As we celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence, it’s important to remember one of the forgotten building blocks of America’s foundation — hemp.

Around tax time, we reminded you that hemp was literally such a vital fiber of American culture during the 1700s that it was considered an acceptable form of payment for annual taxes.

But hemp’s rich American heritage runs far deeper than the tax man’s pockets.

Published copies of Thomas Paine’s influential “Common Sense,” a revolutionary pamphlet that convinced many undecided American colonists that gaining independence from England was essential, were printed on hemp paper. Hemp paper, with its tougher-than-wood-pulp construction and far more sustainable grow cycle, was the preferred method of printing until widespread cannabis prohibition swallowed up industrial hemp production in its devastating path.

Once Americans officially cut ties with their red-coated counterparts, they needed to make things final by putting it in writing. Rumors abound on the internet that the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were penned on paper sourced from hemp, though the hearsay is merely that according to Politifact.

After the Declaration of Independence was signed and the United States of America was born, hemp played a pivotal role in helping our nation find its identity. In 1776, well-known hemp advocate and first President of the United States, George Washington, walked into an upholstery shop with Robert Morris and George Ross in search of a seamstress by the name of Betsy Ross. The trio showed Betsy a crude mockup of what would become our country’s first flag and asked if it was something she’d be able to produce. According to sworn affidavits from the Ross family verifying the oral history of the American flag’s origin, Betsy replied, “I do not know, but I will try.”

Betsy surpassed even her own early expectations and made the hell out that first flag — and she did it using Mother Nature’s most efficient-yet-demonized fibrous resource.

flag-capitol

In 2013, Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado requested that an American flag made of industrial hemp be flown over the United States Capitol to commemorate the plant’s integral role in early American history.

“Many of our founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew hemp,” Polis explained. “Many of the very first American flags were made from hemp cloths. So there’s a real tie in to our countries history and the important rule industrial hemp played in agriculture in our country.”

As important as hemp was to our country’s formation, it’s poised to make an even greater impact on America’s future. More than 30 states have now passed legislation loosening restrictions on industrial hemp farming and production for either commercial or research purposes.

hemp-states

So, on this 4th of July, as you spark your Presidential OG (or Liberty Haze for the Sativa-leaning patriots) and slather up your burgers and dogs in medicated toppings, know that you’re celebrating not just America’s freedom but the tremendous role cannabis played in our country’s independence.

 

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Massachusetts High Court Rules On Work and Weed

Massachusetts High Court Rules On Work and Weed; Gov. Prepares to Sign Legalization Into Law

Massachusetts’ medical marijuana patients receive legal cover from state Supreme Court ruling as Gov. Charlie Baker prepares to sign legalization into law.

Yep, it was a busy week for marijuana enthusiasts in the “Bay State.”

On Monday, a Massachusetts High Court ruled workers couldn’t be fired for using medical marijuana. Then, on Thursday, policymakers in the state legislature sent a revamped version of the voter-passed marijuana legislation to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk for signing.

Anticipated to approve the modified measure, Gov. Baker’s signature will elevate the ballot question’s projected marijuana tax rate, provide joint oversight of both the recreational and medical marijuana programs, and modify how local municipalities can prohibit recreational marijuana stores, according to the Boston Globe.

“The Senate enacted the measure on a 32 -6 vote. On Wednesday, the House voted 136 – 11 to move the bill forward.”

As for working with THC metabolites in your body, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Monday that a female employee who was fired for medicating with medicinal cannabis could sue her former employer.

Sending Christina Barbuto’s case against Advantage Sales and Marketing back to the Massachusetts Superior Court, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court decided that employers could not impose a wholesale anti-marijuana rule against employees who have received a doctor’s recommendation for medicinal cannabis.

Exceptional news for patients in Massachusetts, according to Mass Live, “the ruling affirmatively recognizes a level of work-related protection under state medical marijuana laws.”

Now legal to “fire up” for both medicinal and recreational purposes in Massachusetts, employees will still face serious scrutiny by their employers for any recreational pot use. As the Mass Live post noted, “Workers can still be drug tested and fired for failing a drug test if it is not part of an approved treatment plan for a medical condition.”

Main photo courtesy of Allie Beckett