History of CBD and Cannabis: Liechtenstein
Bordered by Switzerland to the west and Austria to the north, Liechtenstein is Europe’s fourth smallest country. With a healthy financial sector and high purchasing power parity, the country has formed very strong ties to the rest of Western Europe.
Though it’s not a member of the European Union, Liechtenstein participates in the European free trade zone and is a leading figure in the United Nations, European Free Trade Association, and The Council of Europe.
Liechtenstein’s historic treatment of cannabis is in part due to the country’s conservative attitude towards drug use and pressure enforced by international powers.
Cannabis, CBD, and Liechtenstein
Currently, cannabis is completely illegal for recreational, medical, and industrial use. In the small territory that only spans 62 square miles, all forms of cannabis related crimes and non-violent drug offenses are punished very severely. It’s not uncommon for those caught possessing small amounts of cannabis to be given heavy fines and jail sentences.
That said, all forms of crime, including drug crime, as exceedingly low in the country. Liechtenstein is one of the few nations on earth that contains more companies than registered citizens, owing to its role in aiding international financial transactions.
The heavily specialized, industrialized economy boasts a very large financial sector and Liechtenstein residents are some of the most wealthy in the entire world per capita. With a literacy rate of 100 percent, the population is extremely well educated and the vast majority of residents go on to higher education programs, either at home or abroad in participating Western European countries.
However, cannabis use has been an incipient feature of the country’s young population. Over ten percent of those aged under twenty one state that they’ve tried cannabis at least once, which make cannabis the most frequently used illicit substance.
Unlike neighboring European nations, Liechtenstein is slow to adopt cannabis reform. This is due, in part, to decades of international pressure that resulted in increasingly strict legislation against all forms of nonviolent drug use.
In the seventies and eighties, the United States pushed anti-cannabis laws on nearly every country in the world. Non-participating countries could get slapped with trade sanctions, economic decline, or other international punishments.
International organizations, especially ones with a large American presence, quickly adopted harsh anti-drug stances. Central Asian, African, and East Asian countries were each prompted to restrict their laws. European nations were no exception.
Even now that cannabis law has softened over the past decade, it will still be a long time before Liechtenstein officials opt to reform their restrictive stances towards cannabis.