In Ukraine for the first time acquitted accused of illegal cultivation of hemp
On December 17, the Voznesensky court acquitted a resident of the Mykolaiv region Vitaly Rumyantsev, accused of illegally growing hemp. Lawyers from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union defending the interests of the defendant managed to get the first acquittal in the case of illegal plant cultivation.
Ukrainian robs cannabis for medicinal use
Rumyantsev suffers from a chronic disease of encephalopathy and receives a pension in the first group of disability. In 2018, Vitaly planted eight cannabis bushes on a plot of land and planned to smoke marijuana to relieve joint pain. However, his neighbor saw hemp planting and reported this to the police. Law enforcement officers confiscated the plants and detained Rumyantsev on charges of illegal cultivation of cannabis (part 1 of article 310 of the Criminal Code). The operatives of the Elanetsky branch of the New Odessa police department said that they had seized 330 bushes and sent hemp for examination.
The defendant’s lawyers reported that the police threw wild-growing cannabis to Rumyantsev in order to increase the number of confiscated plants for initiating a criminal case under Part 2 of Art. 310, which involves a sentence of imprisonment for a term of three to seven years. The prosecution initially demanded that Vitaly be imprisoned, but then agreed to a fine. However, the court recognized the fact of growing 330 hemp bushes unproven and fully acquitted the defendant. Rumyantsev will not be punished for the cultivation of eight plants, which he admitted. Security officials who falsified evidence did not bear responsibility for their criminal actions.
Legalization of medical hemp in Ukraine is postponed indefinitely
Rumyantsev claims that marijuana eases pain and also improves motor and speech functions. Therefore, Vitaliy believes that authorities should allow patients to take cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes. On October 26, activists advocating the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine held another “Hemp March of Freedom”. Social activists are confident that it is possible to produce drugs from the plant for the treatment of epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cancer. Member of the public council Dmitry Shamray said that the ban on the use of hemp in medicine violates the rights of citizens. Shamray calls on the government to create a regulated medical cannabis market that will sell proven medicines such as Sativex and Epidiolex.
During the election campaign, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky supported the idea of legalizing drugs with cannabinoids. But in October of this year, he said that cannabis law reform was not on the priority list, as the country was not yet ready to lift the ban. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine notes that the existing database of research on hemp does not allow an unambiguous conclusion about the safety of the plant and its healing potential.