The Czech government, led by Prime Minister Jan Fischer, recently took announced making casual marijuana smoking a worry-free affair.
Fischer’s cabinet defined what constitutes “small amounts” of cannabis for personal use, clarifying the country’s new law that from this year decriminalizes cultivation and possession of the plant by individuals.
As of Jan. 1 ordinary Czechs have being allowed to grow up to five marijuana plants or have several marijuana cigarettes in their pockets without fear of criminal prosecution. Previously what constituted a small amount was not specified and the police and courts loosely interpreted the penal code case by case, often resulting in incarceration of home growers.
See story on the cannabis decision from Czech news agency CTK.
Czech decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis possession does not, however, provide greater clarity to the country’s policy on medical marijuana, an issue which is gaining momentum both in Europe, in North America and elsewhere around the globe. “Konopi Je Lek”, a Czech non-profit organization promoting medical marijuana recently co-founded the country’s first marijuana dispensary in Prague despite there being no medical marijuana laws on the country’s books. However since the dispensary opened, Prague police have raided it, hauling away the cannabis meant for patients, and the dispensary is now looking for growers to help restock its supply.
Some Czech courts in some cases make exemptions to current law to allow for medical use and cultivation of cannabis, sparking legal battles.
We at Different Weed think this a wise and progressive move by the Czech Government. It will stop the supply of money to the dealers who previously controlled the drug, end the criminalisation of millions of Czech cannabis smokers, and free up valuable police time so it can spent preventing more damaging crimes. Hopefully a loosening of the laws against the medical use of marijuana across Europe will follow sometime in the near future. It is an encouraging sign to see the gradual steps towards legalisation that are emerging from many nations with the EU.