Greek Parliament passes medicinal cannabis bill with extended majority

2 March 2018

The Greek Parliament passed a bill with an extended majority allowing the production of cannabis for medicinal reasons. Apart from the government (SYRIZA and ANEL), the bill was also backed by opposition parties Democratic Alignment and the River, while major opposition party New Democracy (ND), the Communist party (KKE), Golden Dawn and the Union Centrists voted against it.

ND’s point of contention was that while it did not dispute the usefulness of pharmaceutical cannabis, it objected to the fact that the government legislated without making provisions to ensure an unchecked cultivation on a mass scale and trafficking of cannabis.

During a heated debate in the plenum, an irate Health Minister Andreas Xanthos objected to assertions that Greece was being turned into a vast area of cannabis cultivation. He insisted that it becomes a first important step for patients to have access to formulations that have been proven and documented to have beneficial, relieving and comforting effects, and in some cases, therapeutic results. He underlined that the framework introduced by the bill is clearly defined and offers all the necessary safety precautions.

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