Russia’s Health Ministry has expressed its interest in importing marijuana and hashish for research according to a draft bill that published earlier this week.
The purpose of the research would be to study marijuana’s “addiction-causing capacities”. Under current Russian law, the circulation of cannabis is illegal and possession of even small amounts can results in convictions or hefty fines.
“The import of narcotic drugs and cannabinoid psychotropic substances … will be required to conduct scientific research and testing in Russia,” says the regulation drafted by the Health Ministry.
Russia is known to be strongly against marijuana and have voiced their opinion on the matter when Canada decided to legalize cannabis nationally.
“We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to its ‘high-handedness’ because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states,” said Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement in June of last year. They also said that Canada “deliberately decided to breach” international law.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed in the past that he is against any consumption of cannabis, so much so that he has gone as far as suggesting that rap music be censored.
At a summit held by Putin last year with a group of cultural leaders in Russia, music producer Igor Matvienko suggested that rap music is a contributor to the marijuana problem and said that radio stations should not play any rap music.
“It is totally everywhere, and this is wrong. It’s wrong that our radio stations put it on the air,” said Matvienko. He also placed blame on the United States saying that rap music is “not our invention … a total trend in the world [that] came from America, such as gangster rap.”
Putin agreed with Matvienko that rap was a contributing factor in mass cannabis use but said rather that the music should only be censored as not to reflect drug use and not completely banned from the radio.
“I am most worried about drugs,” said the president. “This is the way towards the degradation of a nation.”
If the legislation passes, the Health Ministry would import 1.1kg of marijuana, 300g of hashish and 50g of hash oil. They would also increase the importation quota of THC from 10g to 50g per year. The imported cannabis will only be used for scientific purposes.