Czech Republic calls for joint EU action to decriminalize


Legalization could happen in Czechia within a year if a new bill is passed

The Czech national anti-drug coordinator, Jindřich Vobořil, wants to strictly regulate the Czech cannabis market, because the sale of cannabis should be decriminalized and regulated at European level.

Legalization hasn't happened in Czechia, however, despite the misconception that the country is a party-goer's paradise with liberal drug laws. In fact, the reality is quite different: although possession is decriminalised, recreational use remains illegal and although recreational cannabis is not permitted in the Czech Republic, possession and home cultivation have been decriminalized since 2010, but are still punishable as a civil offence.

Market regulation and the decriminalization of cannabis users were among the topics of the meeting of European coordinators of the fight against drugs, organized in Prague in the framework of the Czech Presidency of the EU.

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All of that could change fairly quickly if a new bill making it legal to grow, sell and buy for over-18s is passed next year.

“We hope it will be a coordinated effort (to regulate the cannabis market). It is impossible not to talk about it at EU level. Prohibition has not proven effective enough; we have to look for other models of control. A controlled market may be the only possible solution,” said declared Mr. Vobořil.

Vobořil is currently preparing a draft law on the regulated market in the Czech Republic, which he plans to submit by the end of the year. “I am happy that we are not alone in the EU,” Vobořil said. The law, drafted by the national drug enforcement coordinator and leading expert on the matter, has the backing of Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

He added that Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also planning changes. On the other hand, some states, such as France and Sweden, are against any regulation.

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Leading drug policy experts joined the event in Prague. According to Michel Kazatchkin, of the World Commission on Drug Policy, the EU should remove cannabis from the list of prohibited substances.

A cost analysis conducted by Czechia's pro-pot pirate party shows that the state could collect between 660 and 1,8 billion Czech crowns in taxes on cannabis cultivation alone.

“We have been trying to do this for more than ten years. There are many legal complications. But I believe there will be a change of understanding in Europe and around the world, and a regulated cannabis market will be in place,” Kazatchkine was quoted as saying by Czech News Agency. He added that thanks to the Czech EU Presidency, the regulated market debate is also reaching a “political level. »

Tags : LawrecreativeRépublique tchèque

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