Legislations regarding cannabis use in EU countries


The use of cannabis, along with planting, transportation and sale of the drug in EU countries is seen differently and established independently by law in every one of the sovereign nations belonging to this trading block, depending on culture, general approach and other aspects.

For instance, whereas in some countries personal use is completely decriminalized, in others is forbidden but in some of them authorities simply do not put charges on people carrying personal amounts. Planting, sale and transportation of the plant is more delicate though, criminalized by law as this article on UK legislation and other EU countries about cannabis use show.

Use of Cannabis in the UK

Even though the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union, it is important to mention its status on cannabis legislation, since the insular nation is actually the world´s biggest exporter of the plant, either legally with medicinal cannabis or also illegally with forbidden production.

In details, cannabis use in the UK is illegal but people carrying personal amounts usually are not pursued and simply issued with a warning or small fine. Carrying bigger amounts or selling, planting and transporting the plant can mean year sentences in prison. However, products containing CBD or cannabinoids with less of 0.2 THC concentration can be sold for medicinal purposes.

Countries with decriminalized use of cannabis in the EU

Some countries have decriminalized the use of cannabis and even its planting in recent years in the EU, every one of them with different legislations and characteristics on how much amount residents can have in their pockets, if plantation is allowed and other situations.

Among the countries that decriminalized the use of cannabis in the EU are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia and Ukraine. For instance, Czech Republic and the Netherlands are of the most permissive countries respecting cannabis, allowing people to carry out up to 12 grams and use it on public spaces.

On the other hand, countries like Belgium only allow to have a personal amount of 3 grams and it only can be used indoors or in private spaces. Russia is a particular case, since while consumption is indeed legal, authorities may determine if the spreading of the drug is harmful and act on it.

Countries with criminalized use of cannabis in the EU

According to culture, public health approach and other aspects many countries in the EU issued legislations where the use of cannabis is completely or partially criminalized, meaning in jail time, fines or therapy, although medical use is allowed in specific circumstances.

This is the case for Croatia, Finland, Macedonia and Rumania where glaucoma patients can consume cannabis to relief the pain. In countries like Italy the use of cannabis is completely forbidden, along with planting and transportation.

In Malta, France, Portugal and Spain legally the use of cannabis is not allowed but authorities do not pursue consumers with personal amounts at least in private, while in Ireland a legislation to allow the use of the drug for recreation is going to be issued shortly.

Now, Germany is another special case when it comes to cannabis, since tolerance may depend on the state or district the consumer is located even when consumption is forbidden by law, being Berlin the most permissive in terms of personal amount of the plant that can be carried.