The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) released a report in 2015. The report stated that drug use in the EU is illegal only when injuring others. Regulation policies vary from one country to another. This is due to the lack of a homogeneous legal framework from the EU. Hence, the legality of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes varies by country. Europeans widely recognize the beneficial medical properties of cannabis. Thus, it is a major trigger of cannabis legalization in Europe.
Luxembourg passed a bill in 2018 that legalized the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. It has confirmed its plan of becoming the first European country to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The health concern is one of the important drivers of recreational cannabis legalization. The proponents argue that people are buying the illegal drug in the black markets. The drug is also of unknown quality, posing a danger to the users. The government will have a regulated market where adults can buy cannabis whose quality and source they know. Luxembourg has a grand ambition for cannabis legalization in Europe.
In the Netherlands, licensed coffee shops are the channels for cannabis sales. The supply is from the illegal traders in the black market. Individuals can possess up to 5 grams of the drug. Recently, the government has considered adopting a tolerance policy. The policy will be under experiment for four years starting in 2021. The policy objective is to find out the effect of legal cannabis on crime and public health. The government aims at minimizing public spending on law enforcement. It will track the production, supply, possession, and usage of cannabis. Cannabis legalization in Europe is an instrument of doing away with unnecessary burdens for the authorities.
In France, there is an enormous population consuming cannabis, even though the drug is illegal. This has brought about an intense debate in the state whether to legalize the drug. The majority are considering recreational cannabis legalization. The president banished the obligatory sentence law on minor cannabis crimes. He is as well planning to relax drug laws related to cannabis use and handling. In 2019, a state-tasked commission suggested for new regulation schemes on recreational cannabis. The government is debating the matter. This is one of the factors limiting cannabis legalization in Europe.
22 countries in Europe have allowed the use of formal cannabis-based medicine. While some countries are considering legalizing recreational cannabis, it will take time. The process requires calculated steps than declaring the substance legal. An established regulated market with quality standards and taxing systems is mandatory. limiting black market transactions is the key driver of cannabis legalization in Europe. Minimizing public spending and safeguarding public health are other considerations.