Legal status of marijuana in Austria
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Nowadays the opera isn't the only great thing in Austria anymore as it seems that Austria is a good place for cannabis lovers as well! From buying seeds and seedlings to possessing actual cannabis, a lot seems to be allowed in Austria. But how does it really work? Is cannabis actually legalized in Austria?
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN AUSTRIA
The medical use of synthetic cannabis products is legal in Austria. This means patients can legally access products like Dronabinol and Sativex given they have a prescription from a licensed health practitioner. However, natural cannabis flowers or other cannabis products (like concentrates) remain illegal.
The cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes was legalized by the Austrian government in 2008 when it made a variety of changes to its laws regarding cannabis.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN AUSTRIA
The personal use of cannabis is decriminalized in Austria. The sale of cannabis seeds, seedlings, and plants is also ok. However, the commercial sale of cannabis is illegal and punishable as a criminal offence.
It is technically legal to grow an unlimited amount of cannabis plants as long as they are kept out of the flowering phase and the cultivator can prove he/she isn’t planning to produce psychoactive cannabis.
There have been cases of growers found in possession of large amounts of harvested and cured cannabis flowers (up to 10 kg) who managed to argue that the product was intended for personal use. However, other have not been so lucky and have faced serious criminal charges.
The consumption of cannabis cannot be punished by law. However, the possession, cultivation, sale, and passing on of cannabis from one person to another (without a formal transaction, like passing a joint, for example) are all illegal.
The cultivation of THC rich cannabis is only legal for a state-owned entity.
Cases of possession rarely result in any criminal proceedings, and people found in possession of cannabis can opt to attend a rehabilitation program which automatically waives any further court proceedings.
Cannabis laws are enforced in Austria. In 2012, there were 24,000 recorded drug offences in Austria. 19,000 involved the consumption of cannabis.
Since the reforms in 2008, there has been no signs of further amendments to cannabis laws in Austria.