Bill for the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes debated in the Health Committee of the Chamber of Deputies
The draft law on the legal regime of the cannabis plant, substances, and preparations containing cannabis used for medical purposes was presented on Monday by members of the Health Committee and health professional organizations, but was received with skepticism by representatives of state institutions, reports Agerpres.
USR MEP Emanuel Ungureanu, co-initiator of the project, stressed during a debate at the Health Committee of the Chamber of Deputies that the initiator of the project, PSD MEP Ileana Cristina Dumitrache, gathered all voices, all parties to offer alternatives for patients in Romania, and the project has a very different perspective from that of state institutions.
„State institutions are taught to say: „No, it’s dangerous, we ban, there are solutions, but not these, we sanction”. (…) We are not talking about recreational cannabis, let’s be very clear. (…) Thank you for putting your signature from all parties. Everybody agrees to let the law proceed. I want all state institutions to be subordinated to the sovereign will of Parliament, that is the Constitution,” Ungureanu said.
PSD MEP Ileana Cristina Dumitrache reminded everyone that the project entered the parliamentary circuit in 2019, having been taken over by Alexandra Cârstea, founding president of the „Victoria Mea” Association, present at the debates in Parliament.
„It is the story of Alexandra and her mother, it is a story with a lot of suffering, a story with which not only I but also my colleagues empathized. (…) We are not inventing the wheel”, said the MEP, who recalled that several conferences and debates with international participation on the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes had taken place prior to these discussions.
The vice-president of the Health Committee, PSD MEP Florin Buicu, stressed his support for the project, adding that state institutions must give parliamentarians answers to some of its provisions.
„The draft itself does not only refer to the medicinal use of cannabis. (…) We are waiting for answers from the Romanian state institutions on the other provisions of the draft, and I will refer to the first article of the law: „This law establishes the legal regime for the cultivation, production, manufacture, storage, trade, distribution, transport, possession, offer, transmission, intermediation, acquisition, use and transit on national territory”. The medical component refers only to use. The answer to questions other than use must be found out from the entities involved in this aspect,” the Social Democrat MEP said.
Răzvan Prisada, president of the National Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, pointed out that the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is a current issue for the European Medicines Agency, and that a „monograph” is being prepared by the agency. „And I think we need to look at things a bit more broadly and more integrated (…) There are currently two medicines authorized in the European Union based on cannabis,” he added.
Gabriel Diaconu, an advisor to the Minister of Health, said that there are aspects of the project that the Ministry of Health does not oppose and added that the terminology must be clear.
The Ministry of the Interior disagrees with the proposal in this format, and a reasoned point of view has been sent to members of parliament, said a representative of the National Anti-Drug Agency, an institution under the ministry.
At the same time, a representative of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) drew the attention of parliamentarians to the risk of associated criminality that could be generated by this law.
Among those who supported the project were Anca Daniela Raiciu, president of the Planta Romanica Employers’ Association, journalist Liviu Mihaiu and other guests.
The report on the draft law will be a joint one with the Defence and Agriculture Committees and will then be voted on by the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, the decision-making body in this case.
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