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Macedonia Legalizes Medical Cannabis

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Over the weekend, the Macedonian Health Minister announced plans to put medical cannabis in pharmacies across Macedonia. Both Macedonia’s ruling party and opposition party agreed on making medical cannabis available. Macedonia is the second Balkan nation and 13th nation in the European Union to legalize medical cannabis.

Amendments were made to the law on Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which enables medical cannabis to be treated like medicine. Cannabis will become an option for “people suffering from serious illnesses, such as malignant diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV and childhood epilepsy,” Macedonian Health Minister, Nikola Todorov, told reporters. Todorov expects medical cannabis to be available in pharmacies by the end of May this year. Initial worries included interactions with other medications, however, most of the Parliament agreed.

The nation received approval from the Macedonian Parliament Health Committee earlier this year. “The need to change this law comes from the requests of patients who want to have the option to use naturally derived cannabis products, under strict supervision. The amendments would allow patients to have access to strictly controlled products, improving on the current situation when some patients use unverified products without any supervision regarding the dosage,” said Stojanco Stojkovski, State Secretary in the Health Ministry. Stojkovski proposed the changes to reclassify cannabis.

Saso Vasilevski of the ruling VMRO party said that he had illegally taken cannabis extract to alleviate his battle with cancer. Macedonians love their cannabis—it’s evident in a poll that suggests that 70 percent of Macedonians support the medical use of cannabis. That enthusiasm wasn’t as strong for the support for recreational cannabis. Only 34 percent of respondents said they support the use of recreational cannabis. Croatia was the first nation in the Balkan region to legalize medical cannabis last October. A number of Macedonians are already looking into making a profit on cannabis oil and the green rush in general.

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