Even countries you’ve never heard of are legalising medical marijuana

Posted on June 14 2016

Ok, so you may well have heard of Macedonia, but there’s a good chance you couldn’t point it out on a map (until you saw the above picture at least). It is a very small European country situated by Albania and Greece and has applied to be a member of the European Union. It used to make up part of Yugoslavia and although it has done tremendously since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, it is still one of the the poorest states in Europe.

They still seem to manage to be sensible about medical marijuana though. Medicines containing less then 0.2 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant’s main psychoactive ingredient, can now be prescribed by doctors and bought in pharmacies, the head of Macedonia’s agency for medicines Marija Darkovska-Serafimovska told reporters this week.

“This will help a huge number of Macedonian citizens that are fighting serious illnesses and have a need for treatment with nature-based products,” Darkovska-Serafimovska said.

The medicines are available to patients battling health problems linked with cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.The marijuana-derived products are, however, only accessible under doctors’ supervision and with a prescription.

“This is not a replacement for medical treatment,” Health Minister Nikola Todorov said after parliament passed in May the new law allowing the sales following months of public debate.

Unfortunately for any of our Eastern European friends who happen to hail from Macedonia, any other form of marijuana is still illegal. This is not surprising, social attitudes to cannabis in eastern Europe are decades behind countries like the US and Canada, and very rarely is any distinction made between drugs like cannabis and hard drugs like heroin by the average person. Still though, this means that Macedonia, a tiny country made up of around 2 million people, is ahead of 24 US states when it comes to the ability to use some form of medical marijuana to treat certain illnesses.

If Macedonia can do it, I think we probably can too.



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