History of CBD and Cannabis In: Slovakia
These days, it seems as if anytime you turn on the news, you hear stories of cannabis being legalized, decriminalized or made available for medical purposes. The news has been filled with stories like this because public opinion and policy momentum has been shifting rapidly on the subject, with more and more people – and the governments that represent them – deciding that the benefits of cannabis prohibition no longer outweigh the costs.
However, these reform efforts have not been uniform, and one need only look at the country of Slovakia to see this demonstrated. Despite some movement by individuals in government which have sought to decriminalize certain levels of drug possession – including marijuana – no such efforts have yet passed.
Indeed, Slovakia’s opposition to any sort of marijuana decriminalization makes it somewhat of a rarity throughout the rest of Europe, as many European countries have moved towards more liberal cannabis policies.
Legality Of Marijuana In Slovakia
All forms of marijuana use remain illegal in Slovakia. This includes use for recreational or medicinal purposes. Jail sentences are very strict: Possession of even one joint can result in an eight year jail sentence.
However, at various points, Slovakian politicians have considered or publicly discussed loosening Slovakia’s stringent anti-drug laws. For example, in 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that Slovakia’s incoming Prime Minister, Robert Fico, was interested in advocating for marijuana decriminalization. However, that push never came to pass.
In 2018, Slovakia’s Justice Minister, Lucia Zitnanska, discussed pursuing a decriminalization effort. Under Zitnanska’s proposal, low amounts of cannabis, cocaine, heroin and pervitin would be decriminalized, while individuals under the age of 18 would automatically be given some form of drug treatment.
However, those measures never passed during Zitnanska’s tenure as Justice Minister. Zitnanska’s successor, Gabor Gal, decided that the political support necessary to pass such laws did not exist; as such, these efforts were abandoned.
Despite the lack of support for these efforts, local reports indicate that marijuana is not hard to obtain in Slovakia, particularly within big cities. They also note that local police will sometimes look the other way. Furthermore, a 2016 survey found that 40% of 15-24 year olds had tried marijuana in the past year, making it the most popular drug in the country.
CBD In Slovakia
Laws related to CBD appear to be softening. The government recently passed a law which removes CBD from its list of psychotropic substances. While more regulation is required, this sets the stage for CBD to be made legally in fully available in Slovakia.
As of yet, no other business entities are growing hemp or manufacturing CBD in Slovakia. Again, this makes Slovakia somewhat of an outlier in the rest of Europe.