Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for the legalisation of marijuana to help Ukrainians cope with the stress and trauma of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Addressing the Ukrainian Parliament on Wednesday he said, “All the world’s best practices, all the most effective policies, all the solutions, no matter how difficult or unusual they may seem to us, must be applied in Ukraine so that Ukrainians, all our citizens do not have to endure the pain, stress, and trauma of war.” He then added, “In particular, we must finally fairly legalize cannabis-based medicines for all those who need them, with appropriate scientific research and controlled Ukrainian production.”
He stated his point by saying that providing cannabis could prove to be therapeutic for the citizens of the country who have endured more than a year of conflict between the two countries after Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Zelenskyy also supported the legalization of marijuana during his election campaign in 2019. Since then his cabinet has taken steps to try and legalize cannabis for recreational use.
The government has also approved a draft reform legislation which is yet to be passed by the parliament. Viktor Liashko, Healthcare Minister said the approved bill would permit, “the circulation of cannabis plants for medical, industrial purposes, scientific and scientific-technical activities to create the conditions for expanding the access of patients to the necessary treatment of cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from war.”
With this policy change, Ukraine will be the 22nd country in Europe to legalize marijuana for medicinal uses only and the complete opposite to its aggressor, Russia, which is completely against the legalization of cannabis on an international level. The deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Russia said last year that America and Canada making laws to legalize marijuana is ‘of serious concern for us’.
These comments from Zelenskyy come on the same day Luxembourg’s parliament decided to legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana by adults.