EU Supreme Court rules Russian man receiving cannabis treatment should be able to stay in the Netherlands


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It took two more tries, but a Russian patient who says he is dependent on medical marijuana treatment that helps him live without significant pain may be allowed to stay in the Netherlands, where the drug is legal.

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The European Union’s highest court ruled this week that a Russian national asking to stay in the Netherlands has been granted the right to do so, according to The Associated Press. The man developed a rare blood cancer when he was 16 and is currently receiving treatment, including cannabis.

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Despite potential restrictions in the Netherlands, it is illegal to possess, sell or grow medical (and recreational) cannabis in Russia.

WNBA star Brittney Griner is currently serving a nine-year sentence in a penal colony after being convicted of smuggling cannabis-infused vape cartridges into the country last February.

People reported last July that an expert testified at Griner’s trial that medical cannabis “is a popular treatment, especially among athletes.” Lawyers for the two-time US Olympic gold medalist had also earlier pointed out that their client had a doctor’s note endorsing cannabis for the treatment of pain.

As for the anonymous Russian petitioner, he sued the Dutch state in 2018 after rejecting his application for a residence permit or to postpone his deportation to Russia so he could be treated with medical marijuana, by France Media Agency (AFP). His last asylum application was canceled in 2020.

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Now in his mid-30s, reported that medical treatment with cannabis was “so essential to him that he would no longer be able to lead a decent life if this treatment was discontinued”. AFP reports.

This week, the Court of Justice apparently gave its approval. He decided the man should not be sent home despite the country rejecting his asylum claims.

The court ruled that failure to receive proper treatment would expose the man to levels of pain “that would be contrary to human dignity”. PA reports.

It is up to the local court, which was seeking advice on the matter, to make a final decision, according to PAbut adds that the higher court’s opinion will likely prove an important factor.

Politicshowever, reports that “the interpretation is binding, not only for the Netherlands, but for the whole of the EU”.

While medical marijuana was at the heart of the case, the Politics The article notes that the decision applies to any medical treatment not available in the host country.

“A third-country national suffering from a serious illness may not be deported if, in the absence of appropriate medical treatment in the host country, this national risks being exposed to a real risk of rapid, significant aggravation and constant pain. related to this disease,” added a statement from the court.

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