Legal Status of Marijuana in the Czech Republic


Legal Status of Marijuana in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic is the place to be if you want to smoke pot in Europe. Well one of them anyway. According to a 2014 European Drug Report, the Czechs are some of the top cannabis consumers in Europe. The country has one of the most liberal attitudes towards drugs in general. However, despite this, things have progressed much slower than many hoped.

The Czech Republic appeared on a path to major cannabis reform from 1993 onwards. Drug laws in general legalized the possession and use of drugs while criminalizing production and sale.

They meant well. However the country’s dreams of being the “next Holland” never got off the ground. In fact, this liberal attitude got the country in trouble with the UN. They had to change their law to recriminalize pot in 1999 for amounts other than “small.” This too was problematic only domestically. Subsequent sentencing was all over the map, with cannabis possession sometimes punished more severely than harder drugs.

Events here in the first decade of the new century led to the decriminalization of weed here in 2010. Citizens were allowed to also grow up to five plants for any purpose. This in turn has led to a proliferation of semi-commercial absolutely illegal efforts that seem to emulate Colorado. There is a huge gray industry here.

End result? You probably don’t want to be a pot reform activist in Czechia. It would be too frustrating. But if all you want to be is a canna-tourist? The country’s laws are fairly liberal when it comes to drug use. If all you want is a trip through gorgeous scenery and cities with a little green tinge, that is not hard to accomplish.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Medical marijuana has been legal here, by prescription, since December 2012. The law came into effect in April 2013. Since then medical cannabis has been legal and regulated. Domestic grows are legal if they are registered. Specialized physicians can prescribe the drug with special digital prescriptions.

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Technically, the drug is decriminalized. In reality? Things are fairly laissez-faire here. The current rule of thumb is carry less than 15 grams on you. The law might even get a little more constrictive if pot reform here really goes awry. Try to carry no more than 10 and you should be ok.

If you have up to 15 grams of cannabis flower on you, or are in possession of up to five plants, you are ok. After that things get a bit dicey. You could face a fine of just over 500 euros.

The moral of this story? Don’t.

The Czech law about cannabis is on the edge. It could get a little more restrictive. That said, despite the fact that the dreams of local activists never materialized, the status quo, for the most part, will probably stay in line with the rest of Europe. On the medical front, the Czechs are far ahead of just about everyone else and widely copied. This starts with using digital prescriptions.

On the recreational side? The Swiss, Spanish and Dutch experiments are a tantalizing target for those who crusade for full and final reform. Don’t count the Czechs out yet.

SUPPORT THE LOCAL LEGALIZATION GROUP(S) IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

There are a plethora to choose from and they are not all based in-country. Given the country’s now 20 year liberal drug laws, the medical community here is one of the most advanced in Europe on the cannabis front. Even Americans For Safe Access has begun to branch out internationally through Czechoslovakia.

That said, most of the change at this point is going to come from political leadership in elected office.

If you want to get involved in pot reform here, get politically active. You also have a number of groups to choose from. This ranges from the CSSD, which is the country’s largest political party. Sometimes they express “symbolic” disapproval of drugs. Then there is the ANO 2011. Founded by the second-wealthiest man in the Czech Republic, members have been active on the patient advocacy side of things.