Lithuania legalizes medicines containing cannabis
The Lithuanian parliament voted on Thursday to legalize medicines containing cannabis.
The respective amendments were passed with 90 votes in favor, none against and three abstentions and will come into force next May.
The amendments to the Law on Pharmacy and the Law on the Control of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances will allow the medicinal use of such medicinal products if their safety and efficacy are proven by scientific research and if these products are registered.
MP Mykolas Majauskas, a conservative lawmaker who spearheaded efforts to legalize medical cannabis, said the control of such preparations would be strictly regulated to ensure psychotropic substance are not used for entertainment.
"What it (the bill) ensures is not that 'weed' will be available in pharmacies and one will be able to buy it and smoke before a party. It says very clearly that EU-registered medicines containing cannabis, will be prescribed, under strict supervision by doctors, to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer and autoimmune diseases," Majauskas told the parliament.
"This is a historic decision, the first step that will ensure that medicines, at least those registered in the EU, will be available to patients in Lithuania," he added.
Under the law, such medicines will be subject to extremely strict rules of use, accounting and dispensing to patients.
Lithuania's existing legislation makes no distinction between medicinal and recreational cannabis. The Law on Pharmacy only allows the medicinal use of substances that are on List II of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances. Cannabis is now on List I of prohibited substances.