In a world where cannabis is as common as comfort foods, from joints, bongs, and vaporizers to cookies, brownies, and gummy bears, it remains largely forbidden in the European Union. However, Germany is making strides towards partial legalisation, cutting through the red tape of EU law.
Never before has such a compelling case for legalising cannabis across Europe been made than in current discussions considering the economic value, unmasking common misconceptions, promoting social benefits, and highlighting the role of regulation.
- EU drug law has stagnated the potential financial gain of legal cannabis
- Common myths about cannabis need to be debunked
- Regulation could help deter potential dangers of the illegal cannabis market
- Legalization may reduce potential drug users and protect consumers
Previous attempts at cannabis legalisation, such as efforts by the Netherlands and Malta, have been met with a hefty barrier in the form of EU regulations. Therefore, the volume of black-market cannabis sales in Dutch coffee shops continues to increase. The EU’s archaic drug law, based on a 60-year-old UN convention, is missing out on the potential to redirect an estimated €15 to €35bn from the black market to state revenues.
Countering Cannabis Legends:
Critics of cannabis legalisation often refer to fear-based arguments, citing increased consumption, its role as a ‘gateway drug’ and perceived dangers to younger consumers. Paradoxically, the rate of cannabis use among adults in the Netherlands, where cannabis has been legally available since the 1970s, hasn’t increased. In fact, France’s cannabis use rate is nearly 50 per cent higher.
Moreover, the dangers of cannabis are often overblown and misaligned with the dangers of other legal substances such as nicotine and alcohol. Controlled market regulation could deter the sale of adulterated cannabis variants, which pose a more significant danger to users.
Redefining Regulation and its Rewards:
Far from being a gateway drug, eliminating the black market for cannabis might actually reduce access to harder drugs. A study shows that 52% of cannabis consumers in Sweden could acquire other drugs from their cannabis source, compared to only 14% in the Netherlands. The legalisation argument gains even more weight with evidence that legalisation does not result in increased youth consumption in the US or the Netherlands. An exciting opportunity for more robust youth protection policies indeed.
What BRITISH CANNABIS™ has to say:
Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting cannabis legalisation, the EU remains adamantly opposed, sticking to the dated rhetoric that “Cannabis remains forbidden because it is illegal.” Unarguably, it is high time for a shift in perspective.
Legalising cannabis won’t dictate individual consumption habits, but it will empower current consumers with safe access and enrich tax coffers in the process. By not embracing the reality of today’s society, the EU’s stubborn stance on cannabis legalisation undermines the clear advantages of controlled regulation. The time is ripe for a sensible reevaluation, acknowledging that the legalisation of cannabis is, indeed, a win-win situation for all.