Lawmakers in Poland’s Lower House of Parliament have cast 440 votes in favor of legalizing the use of medical cannabis, according to a Yahoo News report. Only two lawmakers voted against the move, with one other House lawmaker abstaining from the vote.
The law must pass through the Senate next — and then the President — before taking full effect, but Poland is the latest member of the European Union to demonstrate signs of moving towards a comprehensive medical cannabis program.
The proposed legislation would allow for doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients. The products in question would be made by pharmacies using imported materials. The bill would not allow patients to grow their own medicine and does nothing to legalize recreational access to the plant.
The bill was proposed last year by independent lawmaker Piotr Marzec-Liroy, a rapper-turned-politician who rose in popularity in 2015 on the back of the Kukiz’15 anti-establishment movement.
Polling data from January suggests that 78 percent of Polish citizens believe that access to cannabis should be legal.
Other countries in the EU who have made strides towards the implementation of cannabis medicine include Germany, where Canadian cannabis companies are already establishing business ties; the United Kingdom; the Czech Republic; Finland; the Netherlands; Portugal; Spain; and Ireland.
Last month, France’s new president Emmanuel Macron announced a plan to end prison sentences for cannabis consumers.