Today (22nd November) the first international debate on medical cannabis in the Romanian Parliament is set to take place. Why now and what could this mean for the future of legalisation in Romania? 

Organised by Romania’s Health Commission of the Chamber of Deputies together with the Victoria Mea Association, the event will debate the globally recognised benefits of medicinal cannabis and access for Romanian patients. It is hoped that important discussions will be prompted surrounding legalisation by using an interactive question and answer session to address and clarify concerns of the public, doctors and policymakers.

In attendance will be Professor Michael Barnes, who will discuss the progress of medicinal cannabis so far with regards to scientific research and how doctors can provide active involvement in the approval of medical cannabis treatments. As well as this, Hannah Deacon presents how her personal experience in trying to access treatment for her son changed the law surrounding medical cannabis. 

German lawyer and General Secretary of the European Medicinal Cannabis Association, Sita Schubert, will also be presenting on the situation in Germany following the legalisation of medical cannabis, as well as the wider legal and economic implications of legalisation from a European perspective

The event is hosted by Cristina Dumitrache, PSD deputy and member of the Health and Family Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, and Alexandra Cârstea, the founder of the Victoria Mea association.

Cristina Dumitrache initiated the draft law, the ‘Victoria’ law, regarding the legal regime of the cannabis plant, of substances and preparations containing cannabis, used for medical purposes, gathering the support of 100 Romanian parliamentarians from across the political spectrum. 

Alexandra Cârstea is the founder of the Victoria Mea Association, known internationally as the “voice of medical cannabis from Romania”. In helping her mother, Victoria, an oncology patient, she established connections with renowned doctors and researchers who offered her guidance with medical cannabis treatment. After the unfortunate passing of her mother in 2019, she continued to advocate for medical cannabis patients in Romania. Alexandra set up the Victoria Mea Association to continue the campaign for medical cannabis legalisation. Talking about the Victoria Mea Association, Alexandra said: 

“My victory is our Victory, of those who decide to inform ourselves and make the right choices to improve the quality of our lives! I started on this path, out of a lot of love for my mother and I continued to take all transparent, correct and assumed steps, so that my mother’s suffering would have a meaning and the voices of the Romanians who signed the petition for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Romania would be heard!
Victoria Mea means an approach driven by love and has all the moral, scientific and legal arguments to carry out a project that could change for the better the lives of many sick people who have been waiting too long for a new chance for treatment!”

It is hoped that by holding such an event within the Parliament, important discussions will be prompted regarding the legalisation of medical cannabis in Romania and the draft law. 

If you wish to watch the debate, a broadcast can be accessed via the Victoria Mea Association’s social networks and YouTube channel.

This piece was written by Volteface Intern Megan Townsend. Megan is a current MA Criminology student at Birmingham City University. Tweets @megant2799.