NewsWhat are the rules in Europe? – DW – 16.08.2023

    What are the rules in Europe? – DW – 16.08.2023

    The legal handling of cannabis is not uniformly regulated in the European Union (EU). Over the past 20 years, according to the European Drug Agency in Europe the trend towards a reduction or even abolition of prison sentences for minor cannabis possession. In addition to Germany, other European countries have recently introduced or are planning to introduce new regulations for the use of cannabis as a recreational drug.

    Netherlands – liberal handling

    The Netherlands is known worldwide for its liberal approach to cannabis and some other intoxicants. Possession and consumption of up to five grams have been permitted since 1976, and sale in licensed “coffee shops” is also tolerated. The health policy idea behind it: It should be avoided that consumers who buy cannabis on the street also come into contact with harder drugs. On the other hand, the intoxicant may not be grown and sold on a large scale – criminal gangs in particular are active in this area.

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    One of many coffee shops in Amsterdam city centerImage: Daniel Kalker/picture alliance

    The Netherlands was also the first EU country to allow medicinal use of cannabis in 2003. The medicinal use of the drug is now permitted in around 30 countries around the world.

    Malta – Cannabis Social Clubs

    Malta has a new law in late 2021 stipulated that possession of up to seven grams of cannabis and cultivation of up to four plants would not be prosecuted. So-called “Cannabis Social Clubs” with an official license are also planned, in which consumers can join together to form a cultivation cooperative for their own use. In some regions of Spain there are comparable models that are in a legal gray area but are tolerated.

    According to Maltese law, criminal records related to cannabis should also be deleted, and education campaigns should accompany the easing. Consumption in public and in front of minors remains prohibited in Malta.

    Luxembourg – Cannabis in small quantities

    Setting the course for cannabis legalization was one of the current government’s major projects – with the aim of keeping consumers away from the black market and the associated dangers and curbing drug-related crime.

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    Since June, the cultivation and consumption of small amounts of cannabis for leisure use in a private environment has been permitted – or is only treated as an administrative offence. Four cannabis plants may be grown per household. However, anyone who carries more than three grams of cannabis in public is considered a drug dealer and must expect appropriate penalties.

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    Czech Republic – “Amsterdam of the East”

    Prague is already known by some as the “Amsterdam of the East” – the Czech Republic has been treating cannabis more loosely than many other European countries since 2010. Although the possession of cannabis is generally a criminal offence, small amounts are not prosecuted.

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    In April 2023, the Czech government decided to go further than that: cannabis should be legalized to prevent drug addiction. The plans also include the establishment of cannabis clubs and over-the-counter sales in pharmacies, among other things.

    Switzerland – Cannabis is prohibited

    Cannabis is prohibited in Switzerland. However, cannabis products are allowed as long as they contain less than one percent of the active ingredient THC, which provides the intoxicating effect. Such products can be hemp blossoms, scented oils, ointments or drops. Private hemp cultivation is also permitted if the THC content of the cannabis variety is less than one percent.

    Since May 2021, consumers have also been able to legally purchase cannabis products under strict conditions as part of scientific pilot tests. The aim of the trials is to create a solid scientific basis for possible decisions on the design of cannabis regulation.

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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