Croatia is a hospitable tourist destination on the coast of the Adriatic Sea that has been actively developing over the past 20 years. Along with economic progress, some controversial topics are increasingly raised in society, one of which is cannabis legalization. In this matter, Croatia has made its way from complete prohibition to a moderate attitude towards weed use, despite still not being legal recreationally.
At the beginning of the 2000s in Croatia, it was forbidden not only to keep hemp but even depict it. They considered that pictures of marijuana were indirect propaganda of drugs. The country even banned products with images of the rapper Eminem because he released music with a sprig of the notorious cannabis on the cover. Since then, Croatia and cannabis have come a long way.
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Recreational Weed Use Croatia
In December 2012, the Croatian parliament voted on a bill to decriminalize the personal use of marijuana and other drugs. However, it did not establish what the personal use amount is. Instead, the courts would judge whether the situation and circumstances appear for personal use only.
Croatia’s decriminalization laws can result in a fine of up to €2680, or community service, or attend a rehabilitation program. Before the change in the law, simple possession charges could result in up to three years in jail.
Weed Cultivation and Selling
The production and cultivation of drugs, even without any intentions of selling, can result in 6 months – 5 years in jail. With the intention of selling, this timeframe increases to 1 – 12 years. It can go up to 15 years if minors are involved. If the situation is deemed to be organized crime, this can increase to 20 years in prison.
Medical Weed is Legal in Croatia
Thanks to the efforts of activists, in October 2015, Croatia became the first Balkan country that allowed patients to legally buy and use marijuana products. Patients suffering from serious illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy can get access through a doctor. Doctors can prescribe various forms of THC to a patient, with a limit of 0.75 grams of THC per month.
Croatia Looking Towards Legalization
A bill was introduced at the start of this year that aimed to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and hemp for commercial uses. The bill would also allow growing up to 9 plants per adult for personal use.
This bill was introduced by a member of the Social Democratic Party (center-left). The center-right party won this year’s election, so it looks like for the next few years any progress around cannabis legalization will be small at best.
Despite this, Croatia has one of the friendliest cannabis environments out of the Balkan nations, although recreational weed isn’t legal yet. At least the conversations have been occurring in both parliament and public, a necessary first step towards cannabis reform.
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