Traditional pop culture has painted quite an image of Romania. Overcast skies over brooding castles, mysterious counts, and thick and dark ancient forests. While certainly compelling, Romania is more than that. It is historic in the world of cannabis as one of the first places it was found to be used. With that iconic mark on history made, where does modern-day Romania stand on legal weed? Is the law more Vlad the Impaler or Vlad the Inhaler?
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Weed Laws In Romania
In Romania, cannabis is illegal for recreational use. Based on the information available, its laws are quite vague. In Romania, charges for possession of drugs are linked to the kind of drug possessed (seems reasonable). Higher penalties are doled out for more “high-risk drugs”. In theory, this should leave cannabis smokers in a better position than others, but the definition of “high-risk” isn’t listed. This might be because the severity is considered on a case by case basis.
Possession for personal use may result in either a fine or a prison sentence from 3 months to 2 years. This increases to 6 months to 3 years, if the drug is considered high-risk. Like the term high-risk, there’s also no definition available for what is considered personal possession. There is also a drug assistance program that may be available for the offender to avoid punishment.
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Being caught selling drugs is a different story. You can expect anywhere from 2 to 7 years, or 5 to 12 years, depending on the type of drug. I would imagine that cannabis would be considered a lower risk, however, this is not stated anywhere.
Medical Marijuana In Romania
In regards to medical cannabis laws in Romania, there is conflicting information. Some sources claim Romania legalized cannabis-based medicines in 2013 and others have refuted that claim. There is limited information available to validate either claim, but there is a greater consensus on a medical cannabis law being passed in 2013. According to those sources, medicinal cannabis options are limited to CBD (<0.2% THC). Cannabis-based medicine will often be prescribed in the form of a capsule or oil, and can be available from pharmacies.
Cannabis-based medicine is treated the same as heavy prescription drugs. The Romanian government highly regulates access to cannabis-based medicines but does not have a medical cannabis program in place. Instead, to access it, patients will need a prescription from their doctor. To be eligible, patients need to have a serious condition that is causing them pain and/or seizures.
Romania Looking to Expand
While information is limited on the subject, Romania has recently looked at expanding its medical cannabis laws. In July of 2019, after the accumulation of 20,000 signatures and support of nearly 100 MPs, an expanded medical cannabis law was drafted. This bill would allow terminally ill patients to access cannabis-based medicines. The 2013 bill only offered provisions for CBD, and this 2019 bill is expanded to include THC. Under the 2019 bill, cannabis-based medicines could not be smoked, but there is an expansion of available methods for dosing.
The bill was adopted by the Romanian Senate in November of 2019. Since that adoption, there has been no further news on the matter. It could be that as a result of COVID-19 further voting on the bill has been postponed.
Future Predictions for Legal Weed in Romania
While the information on Romania and cannabis is limited at best, and contradictory at worst, there are clear predictions to be made. The conservative nature of Romanian drug laws leaves recreational legalization unlikely. Decriminalization seems more likely to occur in the near future as the greater EU continues to expand the legality of cannabis. Don’t hold your breath though, it hasn’t happened yet.
Expansion of medical cannabis laws is also likely; though the 2019 bill may not be successful. Overall, the path to legal weed in Romania is far from its end, and progress will be slow.
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