History of Cannabis and CBD: Croatia
In 2013, Croatia formally became a member of the European Union. Croatia, which sits at the crossroads of Southeast and Central Europe, originally had a difficult time reaching full admittance into the international economic union.
Originally, Croatia applied for full membership in 2003 and was put on the docket for registration in 2004. Ultimately, the country never became a part of the Schengen Area, which is the membership region that allows citizens free movement between EU countries.
Why is this important concerning the question of cannabis legalization? Despite these hangups, Croatia’s admittance has had huge ramifications on its policy towards cannabis decriminalization, legalization, and reform. Like many member states, Croatia’s policy towards CBD is largely determined by the regulations adopted by the EU.
Cannabis, CBD, and Croatia
Before any state can be fully admitted into the EU, it needs to undergo an extensive vetting process through key sitting members in current EU states. Croatia was no exception.
After ten years of making policy adjustments in order to adhere to international law, Croatia was finally able to formalize its membership to the EU. Part of this meant that Croatian officials had to address their outlook towards CBD, cannabis, and other substances.
After all, the EU represents an economic union that’s meant to disambiguate the laws between member states in order to maximize free trade. Variations in law can cause extreme grievances over international borders. There’s no better example than the case of the United Kingdom: officials from Ireland became extremely upset when droves of residents traveled to neighboring EU states in order to receive legal abortions.
Before admittance, Croatia made headway on the issue of legal cannabis and CBD. As of early 2013, cannabis has been decriminalized for personal use. Narcotics law was made disjunct when officials formally differentiated between hard drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, and light drugs like cannabis.
Just one year after full membership, the Ministry of Health pushed forward a legal movement that would later allow cannabis to be used for limited medical purposes. Now, patients with intractable conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS, are able to legally grow and use cannabis.
In terms of hemp, CBD is now legal for sale throughout Croatia; however, its legal status has been largely determined by the EU. The EU treats edible CBD products like a novelty food item, meaning that they have to undergo more extensive international regulatory processes in order to be sold.
It will be interesting to see how countries like Croatia react and further integrate international economic policy into their narcotics law. In some ways, cannabis policy represents the way that international organizations are able to subvert the state. After all, it’s unlikely Croatia would’ve addressed marijuana decriminalization without the pressures of EU membership and the need to cooperate law with neighboring states.