The Czech government has approved a new drugs strategy to run until the end of 2025 that includes the introduction of a strictly regulated market in cannabis.
The exact rules of the action plan are set to be set by an expert group, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The Czech Republic is considered one of the most liberal countries regarding cannabis legislation.
Although its recreational use is still illegal, it decriminalized cannabis possession for personal use in 2010 and legalized medical cannabis in 2013.
In addition, the Czech Republic is one of the few European countries that cultivate hemp with a THC content of up to 1% for industrial purposes. In comparison, other EU member state legislations have set the limit to about 0.2%, although the European Union recently decided to increase the THC level from 0.2% to 0.3% for authorized hemp crops used for industrial purposes.
Hence, the regulation of the recreational market appears to be a natural path to follow for a country in which about 30% of the adults have tried cannabis, and 8% to 9% use it regularly, according to the Addiction Report released in August by the National Monitoring Center on Drugs and Addiction (NMS).
The national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil said previously that fresh taxation of addictive substances and effective tax collection could generate up to CZK 15 billion for the state annually.
Young Czechs First In Europe For Cannabis Consumption
The availability of drugs in European Union countries remains high, and in some cases is higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to this year’s report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
In the Czech Republic, 23 percent of people between 15 and 34 have tried marihuana at least once. Compared to the other 24 states in the European Union, the Czech Republic ranks first and is on par with the United States.
The EMCDDA estimates that around 30% of EU citizens aged 15 to 64 have tried at least one banned substance in their lifetime. The most commonly used substance is cannabis, which 79 million people have tried at least once in their lifetime. In the past year, 22 million people (7% of the EU population) have used cannabis at least once. Among young people aged 15 to 34, the figure was 15.5%.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms are also very popular among young people in the Czech Republic. Around 5% of people aged 15 to 34 have used them at least once in the past year.
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