Five Members of the European Parliament call for an EU-wide factual discussion on cannabis
Five Members of the European Parliament, from different political groups and from different EU Member States, have come together to create an informal interest group of MEPs who support human rights-based policies regarding the personal use of cannabis
In an open letter to the 705 Members of the European Parliament encouraging MEPs to join the informal group, MEPs Cyrus Engerer (Malta, SD), Monica Semedo (Luxembourg, Renew), Mikuláš Peksa (Czech Republic, Greens), Dorian Rookmaker (Country -Bas, ECR) and Luke “Ming” Flanagan (Ireland, The Left) welcome recent developments on the legalization of cannabis in Germany, Malta and Luxembourg and call for greater sharing of information between Member States on the subject.
MEPs have called for an EU-wide factual discussion on personal cannabis, which has long been considered a taboo subject due to misconceptions and misinformation. “Due to an outdated and unpredictable patchwork of legislation, EU citizens often find themselves forced to turn to the black market or, worse still, be imprisoned for being in possession of small amounts of cannabis for human use. staff,” the deputies said. "This does not reflect the level of freedom we have come to expect from life in Europe."
"No one should go to jail for a joint," said Labor MEP Cyrus Engerer. “But unfortunately, many citizens across the European Union still find themselves locked up just for possessing small amounts of cannabis. While countries like Malta have the courage to turn to legalization policies who fight black market supply while offering citizens their personal freedom, others are far behind.
“The patchwork of policies across the EU and the emergence of other countries warming up to the idea of legalizing cannabis will certainly create a lot of discussion in terms of EU legislation, Schengen and the single market. That's why we need to start the conversation”.
In the same vein, Renewal MEP Monica Semedo (Luxembourg) said: “Prohibition doesn't work, it only makes cannabis use less safe. With legalisation, consumers can receive reliable information and have access to quality-controlled products without coming into contact with criminals. The legalization of cannabis in a number of Member States will certainly have cross-border effects. With this group we can discuss a coherent approach to legalization at EU level”.
The open letter, which was sent to all MEPs on July 14, delivers a bold message from the founding MEPs that makes it clear that member states should have the autonomy to create cannabis policies of a way that reflects the needs and specificities of their society.
“However, we cannot deny that with the arrival of new legislation in EU Member States, we are likely to face repercussions at EU level”, in reference to recent developments in the EU and beyond. "As MEPs, we want to take advantage of this momentum and create a cross-party interest group in the European Parliament, where we will share best practices, talk to experts, organize hearings and conferences, and debate the situation of the personal use of cannabis within the Union. »
Similarly, during the announcement, Irish Member of the European Parliament Luke “Ming” Flanagan said: “Legal cannabis is safer. It is an indisputable fact. Many EU countries are slowly but surely waking up from the nightmare of cannabis prohibition. MEP Flannagan, from the Left group in the European Parliament, went on to say: "The European Parliament must make its voice heard on this reality", declared the co-founding MEP, before concluding: "The formation of this group is a significant gesture at an important time in the drive to change what has been a disastrous law for many law-abiding European citizens. Dorien Rookmaker, a Dutch MEP who joined the European Conservatives and Reformists earlier this year, another founding member, welcomed the formation of the group saying: “Openly discussing a rational approach to cannabis is the way forward. This can help us better understand the benefits of legalization.”
MEPs are calling for an EU-wide factual discussion on personal cannabis, which has long been considered a taboo subject due to misconceptions and misinformation.
“Due to an outdated and unpredictable patchwork of legislation, EU citizens often find themselves forced to turn to the black market or, worse still, imprisoned for being in possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use,” say the deputies. "This does not reflect the level of freedom we have come to expect from life in Europe."
The current set of legal rules restricting the personal use of cannabis in most EU member states goes completely against the principles of freedom of movement and personal freedom,” said the Czech MEP. Mikuláš Peksa of the Greens, concluding the announcement of the creation of the group. We should look to Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and other countries that are already taking steps to legalize the personal use of cannabis and advocate for the sharing of best practices at EU level. I hope this cross-party group helps shed light on the deeply flawed regulatory patchwork we currently have that sends young people to prison for a victimless “crime”.