Prohibition failed. Will we see a regulated cannabis market in the Czech Republic?

Prohibition failed. Will we see a regulated cannabis market in the Czech Republic?
Prohibition failed. Will we see a regulated cannabis market in the Czech Republic?

European countries should proceed to introduce a regulated cannabis market and decriminalize users. This was said by foreign experts on the anti-drug issue at the meeting of EU anti-drug coordinators in Prague. According to them, prohibition and severe punishment of users have failed. National anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil said that he is preparing a draft law setting the rules for the sale and purchase of cannabis in the Czech Republic. He stated that the member states do not have an agreement on market regulation.

Market regulation and decriminalization of users are among the topics of the Prague meeting of anti-drug coordinators and addiction experts from the EU and other countries. The event is part of the Czech Presidency. “We hope it will be a coordinated effort (to regulate the cannabis market). It is impossible not to talk about it on the basis of the entire EU. Prohibition proved to be not very effective, we have to look for other models of control. The only possible solution can be a controlled market,” Vobořil said.

With his team, the coordinator is preparing a draft law on the regulated market in the Czech Republic, which he plans to present by the end of the year. “I am glad that we are not alone in the EU,” Vobořil said. Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands are also planning changes. According to Vobořil, the states are cooperating. One possibility is to test the rules in a joint pilot project in selected cities.

According to Michel Kazatchkin from the international organization Global Commission on Drug Policy (global commission for anti-drug policy), in addition to decriminalization, the “elimination of cannabis from prohibited substances” is also key for the EU. “We’ve been trying to do this for over ten years. There are many legal complications. But I believe that in Europe and in the world there will be a shift in understanding and a regulated cannabis market will be established,” said Kazatchkine. He added that thanks to the Czech presidency, the debate on the regulated market is also reaching the “political level”.

Ann Fordham, executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium, believes the time for change is now. She mentioned decriminalization. “Repression has failed,” Fordham said.

According to Cat Packer, who was involved in the legalization of the regulation of the cannabis market in California, 19 states in the US have legalized cannabis. Although the federal position is restrictive and favors sanctions, public opinion is on the side of changes, the expert described. “So the question is not if (a regulated market), but when,” she added. He believes that the states will take steps towards reforms.

Former anti-drug coordinator Pavel Bém believes that the Czech legislation is no longer up-to-date and that the Czech Republic deserves to replace the black market with a state-regulated system.

The attitude of EU countries to regulation is different. According to Vobořil, some states are waiting. Others are emphatically against it, such as France or Sweden. There is agreement mainly on decriminalization, said Vobořil.

Source: ČTK

The article is in Czech


Tags: Prohibition failed regulated cannabis market Czech Republic

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