Economic benefits of legalizing weed in the Czech Republic
The place you want to smoke pots in Europe is the Czech Republic. Ok, anyway, just one of them. One of them to consider also is the economic benefits of legalizing weed in Czechs are among the top cannabis users in Europe, according to the European Drogery Study 2014. The country’s approach to drugs, in general, is one of the most liberal. Yet things have gone far slower than many hoped, even after that.
However, some countries begin after a decade of prohibition, to see the legalization of cannabis as a way of tackling and benefiting from the increase in consumption. Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world so the problem won’t be resolved by looking otherwise or introducing ambiguous or restrictive rules.
A few other western nations have enacted laws by legislating cannabis production and usage, for example in some countries in the United States and Canada. The primary goal now is on Europe, where the European Parliament discusses the regulation on cannabis for medical use and a new controversy is held in some Member States about the economic benefits of the legalizing weed.
Existing cannabis legalization laws in other countries
As of March of 2019, the ETFGI consultancy firm has revealed that Canada’s first cannabis traded fund, after providing a 50 percent return this year, is now on the way to becoming the second most profitable exchange fund (ETF) in Canada. In October 2018, Canada became the first country in the world to legalize the recreational use of marijuana after Uruguay and the first country within the G20. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index has increased several months later to 1,15 billion Euro ($1.3 billion), which according to ETFGI, is the 18th largest Canadian ETF.
This information may re-introduce the debate on cannabis regulation in several EU countries, including Spain. Two opposition parties, the anti-austerity Podemos party, and the liberal right-wing Ciudadanos Party brought the issue to Congress not long ago, even though Podemos defended total cannabis regulation while Ciudadanos supported medical use regulation alone.
The Spanish leader, Pablo Iglesias, said, during his speech in the Spanish Congress, following a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canada will fully legalize cannabis, “What we are discussing here is not whether [cannabis] should be regulated or not, but who’s going to be the next country to do it. “We must be a reference and use the opportunity to offer Spain great advantages,” says Iglesias.
What are the financial impacts to the public?
That is no secret that the legalization of cannabis has tremendous financial impacts beyond the statements surrounding the medicinal benefits of the plant and the need to regulate the black market. For example, in the Unit of Drugs Policy of the Universitat Autonomous de Barcelona Faculty of Psychology (UAB), the income implied legalizing cannabis in Spain was estimated. The Spanish Government Treasury would receive a tax and social security contribution of €3.3 billion ($3.71 billion) per year, according to UAB analysis.
Some countries in Europe also took a step towards the regulation of cannabis, the last of which was Belgium. At the end of February, the Belgian parliament adopted a proposal for a law that gives the green light to the formation of a medicinal cannabis agency, which will be in charge of granting licenses to farmers and managing harvests (including exports and delivery to pharmacies).
EU commission with regards to the cannabis legalization
In the meantime, bypassing the resolution urging the European Commission and every Member State to address the regulatory, financial and cultural barriers related to the plant, the EU Parliament recently took a stand for legalizing the medicinal use of cannabis. The proposal, promoted by a Spanish Deputy from Podemos, encourages countries to promote scientific research on the use of medicinal cannabis and proposes that national health insurance cover this type of use.
For this reason, Parliament has asked EU Governments to distinguish between the proven benefits of medical marijuana and other use of cannabis, the institution believes. The European Parliament (Members of the European Parliament) argued in the course of the debate that marijuana can reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes and alleviate symptoms of diseases such as psychosis and epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, cancer.
Cannabis is one of the most common illegal drugs in Europe, however, so it is important to tackle the problem. This debate is very sensitive. In 2017, 17,2 million young people (14.1%) have used it, and Spain is the fourth highest consumer country in the EU (17.1%) behind France (21.5%), Italy (20.7%) and the Czech Republic (19.4%). According to the EU Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Abuse (EMCDD).
Czech politics and weed legalization
Consequently, Czech society can be described as cannabis tolerant. There is widespread public support for further cannabis liberalisation. Since 1998, the Million Marijuana March has taken place every year in the Czech capital Prague, which calls for the full legalization of cannabis.
The protest in 2003 was for the first time entirely lawful, i.e. announced in advance and duly released to the authorities. The numbers increased to 15,000 in 2009 from a couple of hundred in 1999 and decreased to 5,000 in 2015. The international Cannafest – an international fair that offers not just the ability to buy seeds , fertilizers and other necessary products for the cultivation of cannabis from several international vendors – is another significant public event that has taken place every year since 2009.
Also, visitors have extensive scientific / technical backgrounds, such as various lectures given by leading authorities in their fields on the medical use of cannabis.
The existing state of cannabis policy is very difficult to alter in the next few years. Czech Pirate Party (currently represented within several city councils but never in the Czech Parliament) plans to open the 1st Czech Cannabis Social Club as a major supporter of the legalization of cannabis. Nonetheless, it still does not work for any additional deadline after many postponement steps.