Poland could be on the fast track to legalizing medicinal cannabis now that a well-known member of parliament (MP) has officially introduced a bill calling for the legalization of marijuana for medical uses.
“The bill is the culmination of what I have been saying for years, especially during my election campaign,” explained PM Piotr Liroy-Marzec.
“I promised this to the sick people I met, that I would prepare such a bill.”
Liroy-Marzec’s bill proposes the creation of a register of government-licensed and approved doctors who would be able to prescribe marijuana to patients dealing with certain health conditions.
The bill comes amid growing public support for the legalization of medicinal cannabis.
Last fall, a survey found that 68 percent of all Poles support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Of those that support such a move, 42 percent said that the drug should be used only after a doctor prescribes it, while 26 percent thought it should be available unconditionally, without needing first to receive a prescription.
Liroy-Marzec, who proposed the new bill, has made headlines throughout Poland and the EU after he successfully made the transition from pop cultural icon to leading politician.
Liroy-Marzec first made a name for himself as a pioneering figure in Poland’s young hip hop and rap scene, performing under the stage name Liroy.
Now 44 years old, Liroy-Marzec began his official political career last fall when he won a parliamentary seat after running on the Kukiz’15 ticket.
The Kukiz’15 party has been described as anti-establishment and has often positioned itself in opposition to the conservative Law and Justice party, which won a dominant majority in Polish politics last year.
It’s unclear at this point whether or not the primarily conservative group of Polish lawmakers will support Liroy-Marzec’s new bill.
If it passes, Poland will be one of only a handful of European countries that have officially legalized medical marijuana. So far, the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have legalized medicinal cannabis.
Italian lawmakers recently decriminalized cannabis cultivation among state-approved researchers and medical growers, a move that many see as a small step toward more liberal marijuana laws in a country that has historically taken a very conservative position when it comes to cannabis.