History of CBD and Cannabis: Hungary
Compared to the rest of Europe, Hungary has some of the most restrictive laws and regulations concerning cannabis cultivation, consumption, and distribution. The landlocked country, which is home to over 10 million people, has historically sought to restrict consumer access to illicit substances through penalization.
Cannabis, CBD, and Hungary
Despite the harsh restrictions against cannabis, the Hungarian people have a long history with the marijuana that dates back hundreds of years. It’s believed that cannabis was introduced sometime during the 7th century BCE due to the arrival of Scythian nomads, who brought a broad range of ritualistic cannabis knowledge with them.
For the next few centuries, the precedence of cannabis consumption only rose. Simultaneously, industrial quantities of hemp were produced in order to create nutritious food products, composite fabrics, and fibrous materials like ropes.
Since the 12th century, many more historical records concerning hemp and cannabis production are available from Hungary. Several local businesses operated through spinning, weaving, and processing hemp. Meanwhile, Scythian travelers were described to use cannabis for its intoxicating effects.
Hemp fabric production and cultivation even became integrated with Hungarians’ lifestyles. Typically, women would spin and weave hemp in a social circle, while the men would plant and cultivate.
For centuries, hemp production remained a facet of Hungarian life. However, international pressures from the United States caused much of the hemp production to shut down, especially after the passage of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Zealous officials believed that hemp was used purely as an intoxicant rather than an industrial product.
Nowadays, current cannabis law in Hungary is due directly to international pressures, such as trade sanctions and economic penalties, that occurred in the seventies and eighties.
Possessing even trace amounts of cannabis can land users a sentence of up to two years. Technically, cannabis is not considered distinct from other illicit substances like heroin, cocaine, or meth. Consumers caught with cannabis and often treated like they possess even harder drugs.
In 2013, Hungary officials passed a law that makes cannabis possession even more of a criminal offense. Theoretically, users can land themselves fifteen years in prison for the crime of public consumption.
Yet on the ground level, enforcement doesn’t exactly adhere to the national standard. First time offenders often get let off with a warning and, in many rural communities, it’s not uncommon to see individuals publicly using cannabis.
Even with the current laws, it’s estimated that nearly 19.4 percent of those under eighteen have tried cannabis at least once. This makes marijuana the most popular illicit substance in the country by far.
Partly because of the presence of sophisticated distribution schemes, cannabis remains wildly popular in Hungary. Many Central Asian migrants join criminal marijuana production schemes just to gain capital, which has resulted in a situation of high annual cannabis crop yield throughout many parts of the country.