An Overview on Cannabis Policies and Legislation in Europe
In most European countries, cannabis legislation and practice are two very different things. In theory, production, distribution and consumption of cannabis that contains more than 0,2 % of THC is forbidden in all countries, following the legislation that is based on the UN Conventions on Illicit Drugs. In practice, most European authorities have installed a grey zone, where it is up to the individual policeman or judge to apply these laws.
The grey zone is the achievement of European citizens who in spite of all the drug war madness that has been imposed on them the past 40 years, have continued to practice their belief in the benefits of cannabis, not only for themselves, but for the entire world. Since the end of the 1960’s, they have claimed that the only way to increase these benefits and reduce eventual harms related to cannabis is by abolishing cannabis prohibition. But that is a measure that no national government in Europe is prepared to take.
The result is the grey zone, which you find described in detail for a number of European countries in the attached document. It is an overview of the state of cannabis legislation and practice made by national drug policy reform groups, members of ENCOD. When reading it, please remember that cannabis is the most popular illicit drug consumed in Europe. According to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction in Europe, lifetime experience of cannabis use is reported by 20-25% of the adult population in Europe. So one out of every 4 European adults has been or still is in the grey zone. Let’s make sure it does not turn black.