In Greece, the cultivation, possession, and use of cannabis are all illegal. However, a 2018 amendment to the country’s drug laws decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
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The current legal status of cannabis in Greece
In Greece, the cultivation, transport, possession and use of cannabis are all criminal offences. However, in August 2017, the Greek Minister of Health announced that the government was planning to decriminalise the personal possession and use of small amounts of cannabis.
The proposed changes to the law would mean that possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis would be decriminalised. Offenders would be fined instead of being arrested and prosecuted. The changes would also apply to offences relating to the cultivation of small numbers of cannabis plants for personal use.
It is unclear when the proposed changes to the law will come into effect, but they are likely to be met with opposition from some quarters.
The history of cannabis in Greece
Cannabis has been used in Greece for centuries, both for recreational and medicinal purposes. The first recorded use of cannabis dates back to the third century BC, when it was mentioned in the writings of Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and botanist.
Cannabis remained widely used in Greece throughout the ensuing centuries. It was prescribed by doctors for various ailments, and was even given to pregnant women to help with labor pains.
During the twentieth century, cannabis use began to decline in Greece, as it did in many other countries. This was due in part to the increasing availability of synthetic drugs, which were often seen as being more effective than natural ones.
In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in natural remedies, including cannabis. This has led to a softening of the government’s stance on the drug, and it is now legal to grow and possess small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
The medical use of cannabis in Greece
The medical use of cannabis in Greece was legalized in 2018. The law allows patients to use cannabis for a variety of medical conditions, including cancer, chronic pain, and anxiety. However, the law does not allow patients to grow their own cannabis or to buy it from dispensaries. Instead, patients must get their cannabis from one of the three government-licensed producers.
The recreational use of cannabis in Greece
The recreational use of cannabis in Greece is not currently legal. However, possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use has been decriminalised since 2017, and the cultivation of cannabis for personal use was legalised in 2020. Despite these changes, the sale and supply of cannabis remains illegal.
Cannabis was first banned in Greece in 1890, and the penalties for possession and cultivation have been severe since then. In the 2000s, there was a significant increase in the number of people being arrested for cannabis-related offences, with over 8,000 people arrested in 2008 alone. This led to a rise in support for decriminalisation, and in 2013 a bill was proposed to decriminalise possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use. However, this bill was rejected by parliament.
In 2017, the Greek government announced that it would be decriminalising possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use. This change came into effect in 2018. Under the new law, possession of up to 200mg of cannabis is punishable by a fine rather than a criminal conviction. The cultivation of up to 500g (1.1lbs) of cannabis per year is also permitted for personal use.
Despite these changes, the sale and supply of cannabis remains illegal in Greece. This means that it is still technically illegal to buy or sell cannabis, even if you are only buying or selling it for personal use. However, enforcement of these laws is generally low-priority, and it is unlikely that you will be arrested or convicted if you are caught buying or selling small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
The future of cannabis in Greece
The legislative changes that have taken place in Greece in recent years have opened up new opportunities for the use of cannabis and its derivatives. Currently, possession and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal use are not penalized. However, the production, sale and trafficking of cannabis remain illegal.
The legal landscape surrounding cannabis is rapidly evolving both in Greece and around the world. In September 2018, the Greek Parliament voted to approve the legal cultivation of industrial hemp. This move signals a potential shift in policy on cannabis and its derivatives, including CBD.
As the debate on cannabis continues, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. Check back often for updates on the legal status of cannabis in Greece.