Ukrainian lawmakers voted to legalize marijuana for medical use, Reuters reported, after activists and supporters called for the move to treat millions of people, including soldiers injured in the war with Russia.
Senior MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak wrote on Telegram messenger that the bill had the support of 248 MPs. It remains a criminal offense to sell or supply cannabis for recreational use.
Mariia Mezentseva, a lawmaker who pushed the bill in parliament, said 6 million Ukrainians need medical cannabis, including cancer patients, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients and injured soldiers.
The bill must be signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to take effect. It will not take effect until six months after it is officially announced.
Opposition lawmaker Yuliia Tymoshenko, who served as Ukraine's prime minister from 2007 to 2010, strongly opposed the legislation, arguing it would increase recreational drug use in Ukraine.
Zhelezniak said the legislation would tightly control the production of medical marijuana, including 24-hour video surveillance of producers who must obtain licenses. He said that under the bill, medications containing medical marijuana would only be available via electronic prescription.