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Deputy Healthcare Minister: Legalisation of marijuana impossible in Russia now

July 12, 2014, 13:51 UTC+3 UN

He commented on the campaign in the U.S., which supports legalisation of light drugs

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UN, July 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Legalisation of marijuana for medical or any other purposes is impossible in Russia now, Deputy Healthcare Minister Dmitry Kostennikov said in an interview with Itar-Tass.

He commented on the campaign in the U.S., which supports legalisation of light drugs. Marijuana is on sale in the U.S. 23 states, and in two states - Colorado and Washington - not only for medical, but also for recreational purposes.

“We do not see an opportunity of the kind for Russia. On one hand, probably, marijuana smoking is not that popular in Russia as it is in the U.S. On the other hand, the harm from that drug is clear. Though it is considered to be a ‘light’ drug, in many occasions it is the first step towards use of heavier drugs, it promotes and nourishes the culture of drugs. Money from marijuana sales is used for further development of the drug market,” the deputy healthcare minister said.

The official also commented on the situation in Russia where electronic cigarettes had been getting more popular and on the fact that they were outside the new anti-tobacco regulations.

“Well, electronic cigarettes are a rather new product, and the attitude to it is not clear as yet,” he said. For formation of an attitude “we need certain research,” which could confirm the harm, and besides, it would be necessary to offer criteria “to be used for whatever regulations” in that market. “As you well know, smoking electronic cigarettes is banned on board airplanes, thus, similar banning measures may be applied to them.”

The deputy minister said both Russian specialists and international organisations had been researching the matter. “And not only electronic cigarettes, but also for appliances for smoking tobacco without burning, for different types of sucking and chewing tobacco. We are awaiting results of those researches.”

He said the sixth conference of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was due in Moscow on October 13-17. “Perhaps we shall hear answers to many questions which worry the society,” the deputy minister said.

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