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Medical marijuana: waiting for legislators’ response

As part of the “Analysis and Recommendations” series HFHR lawyers have drafted another report, entitled “Medical marijuana: waiting for legislators’ response”.

The paper, written by Zuzanna Warso and Piotr Kubaszewski, focuses on the issue of ineffective pain management and a necessity to introduce rules on the medical use of marijuana in Polish medical laws, which was prompted by a decision of the Constitutional Tribunal. The authors hope that their report will provide a stimulus to undertake appropriate legislative actions.

Access to proper health care, including pain management schemes, remains at heart of the state’s obligations to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms. A failure to ensure an effective framework for pain management means that the state is unable to discharge its duty to protect citizens’ right to health care, enshrined in art. 68(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. This also means a failure to abide by the obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (whose Article 12 guarantees the right to protection of physical and mental health, including the prevention, treatment and control of diseases), the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibit torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.

Also the Constitutional Tribunal noted problems related to the state’s duty to ensure effective health care. On 17 March 2015, the Tribunal issued the decision (case no. S 3/15) in which urged the Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament, to legislate the medical use of marijuana.

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