May 22, 2016 8:55 AM

Macedonia to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Macedonia has announced that it is going to legalize medical marijuana for its citizens. Over the weekend, the opposition party along and the ruling circles finally agreed on allowing medical cannabis in the country. Macedonia is going to be the 13th country in the EU to legalize medical cannabis.

According to the amendments to the law on Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, cannabis is now recognized as a medication. It is going to become available for people with such serious diseases as HIV, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and childhood epilepsy. Nikola Todorov, the Health Minister of Macedonia, assures that medical cannabis will appear in drugstores by the end of May this year.

Stojanco Stojkovski, the State Secretary in the Health Ministry, was the one who proposed to reclassify cannabis and said that the necessity to change the law emerged because of the substantial amount of patients that expressed their desire to use naturally derived marijuana products. He is also sure that it is important that these products are consumed under strict supervision. The amendments would give patients the opportunity to use the strictly controlled cannabis products, which would eliminate the cases of unverified and incorrect usage of medical cannabis.

According to the recent poll, 70 percent of Macedonians support the amendment to the law on the legalization of medical cannabis. At the same time, about 34 percent of respondents say they are in favor of recreational marijuana. Macedonia would be the second Balkan country to legalize medical cannabis. The first Balkan nation to allow medical marijuana treatment was Croatia—it already legalized it in October 2015.

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