Weed is not legal in Belarus, for either medical or recreational purposes. This article intends to explore how illegal cannabis is in Belarus, the overall acceptance and leniency towards it, and what the future might hold for the Eastern European country.
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Belarus and Europe
Belarus is arguably one of the lesser known countries within Europe. A lot of people probably only recently learnt something about it, with all of the political protests making international news.
Size-wise, Belarus is quite large for European standards. It is just smaller than Romania, but around 3 times the size of Ireland. Population-wise, it’s smaller than Hungary but larger than Austria.
As far as GDP per capita goes, it’s towards the bottom of European nations, similar to Serbia and Montenegro, with each citizen earning around $20,000 US per year.
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Europe is often seen as one of the most progressive regions of the world, which is very true for the most part. Belarus on the other hand is the opposite of this, often called the last dictatorship within Europe.
Belarus Weed Laws
As far as Belarus is concerned, drugs are drugs. There is no distinction made between having a few grams of weed, or a few grams of cocaine. According to Belarus Digest, petty possession is often (incorrectly but deliberately) classed as drug trafficking by prosecutors, so a minimum of 5 years jail time, and hence 5 years of free forced labor is required as punishment.
Even compared to Russia’s weed laws, Belarus is far more strict.
Belarus & Weed in the Future
All of the recent political protests in Belarus tell us that its citizens want more freedom and liberation. For now, however, the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko (pictured above) remains in power.
The protests of 2020 and into 2021 were the largest political protests Belarus has ever seen. While the support for democracy and greater freedom is certainly there within the country, this doesn’t seem to translate into all areas, such as cannabis reform.
Support for legal cannabis in Belarus, either in medicinal or recreational form remains very low. And without public support, the chances of change are greatly reduced.
In Minsk, the capital and largest city of Belarus, there have been infrequent protests for legalizing cannabis over the years. Apart from those protests, there isn’t a great deal of support that is shown publicly, except for online organizations such as Legalize Belarus.
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