Now might be a good time to buy up stock in humus and yogurt and any other good Greek snacks. Munchies could be on the raise in Greece as the nation has just legalized medical cannabis, making it the latest European Union nation to get on the MMJ train.
The Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have already made medical marijuana legal over the years. The Spanish region of Catalonia even made recreational bud legal just about a week ago.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the policy change before the country’s Ministry of Health on Friday, as reported by the Greek Government Gazette and Dope Magazine.
Legal medical cannabis is the latest in a series of incremental changes to the nation’s drug policy. They have a somewhat Draconian history when it comes to drug laws, beginning prohibition of cannabis sales in the late 19th century. But, according to Tsipras, Greece is “turning its page” and “now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal.”
Back in 2013, Greece approved the cultivation of marijuana with the low THC content of 0.2% or lower. Last year, some conditions were officially approved for the use of medical marijuana treatments, and a panel of medical and academic professionals were assembled to discuss the option to fully legalize medical cannabis, even the kind that gets you high.
Now the left-leaning Prime Minister Tsipras has essentially recategorized cannabis on the list of federally restricted narcotics. The drug will be moved from Table A (the most prohibited category, which includes heroin and LSD) to Table B (the category of cocaine and opium). The change is similar to the often proposed rescheduling of marijuana in America from a Schedule I to a Schedule II controlled substance.
As is usually the case after announcements like this, though medical cannabis is legal in the country, there isn’t actually a formal infrastructure to get medical cannabis to patients. The government will likely be issuing cultivation licenses at some point, but no rollout plan or application processes have been announced as of yet. Tsipras announced that once a system is in place, the country will allow the importation of medical cannabis.
Photo via Flickr user Dennis Jarvis