Recently we were told that in Germany the Bundestag plans to consider a law on the legalization of soft drugs throughout the country. And although lovers of “hammering a joint” have already dubbed the new law “legalization of drugs”, it turned out that everything is not so simple. The law can only allow the sale of opioids to sick people and under very strict prescriptions. So, without being afraid of sanctions, it will not work to smoke or carry even a small amount of grass around the city. We decided to ask where in Europe you can legally “hammer a joint”. The results surprised us a lot.
Many people know that in Amsterdam you can smoke weed without fear of the police. But it turns out that all drugs throughout the Netherlands … are illegal. The fact is that in addition to the so-called “Opium Law”, which prohibits the manufacture, distribution, possession and use of all known drugs, there is also a by-law adopted in the 1960s “Directives on methods for investigating and suppressing punishable acts described in the Opium Law “. These directives do not legalize any kind of drug, but indicate the line between “prohibited and punishable” and “prohibited but not punishable.” Marijuana is on the “banned but not punished” list. Therefore, it is sold in coffee shops and smoked in special establishments.
Surprisingly, here are the most liberal drug laws. Since 2010, in the Czech Republic, you can keep 15 grams of marijuana with you and grow five bushes for personal use. But even if they find more, then nothing but a fine awaits you, and even that is extremely rare, because here it doesn’t matter to anyone whether you smoke or not: a shoal of grass is regarded as beer after work.
On October 1, 2012, a law abolishing criminal penalties for the use of marijuana came into force in Switzerland. It is allowed to grow at home no more than 4 plants per person. It is allowed to carry no more than 10 grams of marijuana with you, for exceeding this weight you face a fine of 100 Swiss francs ($110), as for a traffic offense. The sale and distribution of drugs is still illegal. But in pharmacies, medicines from this plant can be bought, as long as there is a prescription from a doctor.
It is allowed to carry no more than 10 grams of marijuana intended for personal use. Larger numbers may be punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 5 years. In practice, in order to be detained for possession of cannabis, you need to dance in a police car with a cannabis bush, in other cases you simply will not be noticed.
In 2003, articles were removed from the criminal code of the Belgian kingdom, according to which lovers of “hammering a joint” were taken to the police station, punished with a fine, or even sent to jail. Now even drivers can fearlessly smoke while driving a car, but not more than 5 grams of marijuana tobacco (as one regular cigarette). At the same time, the manufacture, transportation and distribution of marijuana, as well as other drugs, remains a criminal offence.
It is said that finding marijuana in Belgium is quite easy, and it is available in almost all major cities, including Brussels, Antwerp and Leuven.
Since July 1, 2001, a law has been in force throughout Portugal decriminalizing all types of drugs, even cocaine and heroin. According to the new legislation, there was a “decriminalization” and not “legalization” of drugs. Thus, under the law, the possession of drugs for personal use and the use of drugs itself are still prohibited, but violations of these prohibitions are considered purely administrative and removed from the scope of criminal law. Drug smuggling continues to be a criminal offence. But small transactions for the sale of marijuana, even in Rossio Square in Lisbon, are considered absolutely safe.
In general, in Spain, the possession of any amount of a prohibited substance is punishable by law. But since February 21, 1992, possession for personal use entails only administrative sanctions. You can visit coffee shops in Barcelona, where you can legally buy any type of cannabis. True, the quantitative indicators of the concept “for personal use” are not determined by law and the judicial authorities decide this issue in relation to each specific case. It is generally believed that having 2 marijuana plants is acceptable.
It seems to be the only area where soft drugs are actually legal. But this law is not real, like the state itself. The self-governing commune in the center of Denmark, the Free City of Christiania, lives by its own laws: cars, weapons, hard drugs, photography are prohibited here, but cannabinoids are welcome. Even the main avenue of the district bears the eloquent name of Pusherstreet – huckster street. Law-abiding Danes have decided that it is easier to gather all the hippies, anarchists, anti-globalists and free artists in one place and let them do whatever they want there than to catch violators all over the country.