The Finnish Green League has officially adopted a policy of legalizing cannabis
The Green League, a green political party in Finland, officially adopted a policy of legalizing cannabis at a party virtual conference on September 12. The motion, which calls for "the abolition of the law on the prohibition of cannabis and the authorization of the use, possession, manufacture and sale of cannabis", calls for the legalization and regulation of cannabis in the country.
“The Cannabis Ban Law,” read the party's website, “will be repealed and the use, possession, manufacture and sale of cannabis will be permitted. At the same time, cannabis will be subject to comprehensive regulation similar to that of currently permitted intoxicants, including regulation of sales and manufacture and taxation. Entries in the register (criminal record) resulting from the consumption of cannabis will be deleted. "
The Finnish Green League holds 20 seats in the Finnish parliament, which has 200 members. According to the local press, a recent poll showed that only 18% of the Finnish public supported the legalization of cannabis. The call for legalization would be at odds with the country's centrist party, which opposes legalization. The two parties are part of a five-member coalition that currently forms the government.
The Greens had previously adopted a policy of decriminalizing cannabis possession, but not full legalization. The call for legalization and regulation was made by the party's youth organization, an initiative at odds with the party leadership, and was won by a narrow margin of 183-181, with seven abstentions. A similar motion was presented at the party conference in 2020, but was not passed.
"The world is changing," said Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior and president of the party. “New perspectives are coming from Portugal, Canada, Norway and Denmark. We are committed to facts based on extensive research on this issue. "
Much of the language of the motion reflects arguments used by the Liberal Party of Canada in its calls for legalization in 2015, noting that prohibition has failed in its objectives of protecting children and the public from cannabis use, and has been applied in a manner that perpetuates injustice and racism. He also argues that the cost of maintaining prohibition is a waste of public resources, while unregulated sales is a loss of state revenue, and that legalization itself can create jobs and opportunities. tourism.
The initiative to legalize Canada was also pushed to the fore by the youth wing of the Liberal Party, with calls for legalization by the party's British Columbia Young Liberals in 2013.
The Greens say their first step would be decriminalization of cannabis possession, before moving on to create a legal and regulated system for production and sale. Given the low margins of support even within the party, as well as the minority seats the Greens hold in the Finnish parliament, combined with the relatively low support from the general public, such legislation is unlikely to advance in Finland anytime soon.
“The purpose of the Cannabis Ban Law has been to reduce harm by reducing consumption. However, it does not reduce consumption, but makes cannabis itself more harmful to individuals and to society. The prohibition law therefore completely fails in its objective, and at the same time creates new unnecessary and humanly important problems. As a political party, we have a duty to dismantle and reform the structures of society that do not work and that actively cause more harm than good.Extract from the website of the League of Greens (translated)
“Cannabis regulation creates opportunities to prevent drug use problems and stigma, which affects the most vulnerable people. Equality is ensured by regulatory measures such as product, price and concentration controls, distribution of distribution points and marketing restrictions. These measures have been shown to be effective, for example, in reducing smoking. "