The government of the Czech Republic is working on a plan to
“Despite the previous decriminalization, we still have a black market, there is no official production and no quality control, just as there is no control of sales to young people under 18,” Voborilr
The draft plan is part of the center-right ruling coalition’s plan to address addiction nationwide by 2027. Currently, cannabis products containing no more than one percent THC are legal in the Czech Republic, fueling a robust market of products sold for medical and wellness purposes. The draft legalization plan would establish a comprehensive system to regulate more potent cannabis products.
Voboril, a member of Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s liberal-conservative Democratic Citizens’ Party (ODS), said that “if the state legalizes drug use and gets it under its control, the risk of addiction will decrease.” In his draft proposal to legalize cannabis in the Czech Republic, government agencies would regulate cannabis production and sales.
“The action plan will have five clear priorities. The controlled market, taxes, i.e. their improved collection, and a definition of the tax policy,” Voboril told Czech news Agency CTK,
Licensed Firms Would Produce Cannabis
Under Voboril’s plan, private companies would be licensed by the government to cultivate, distribute and sell marijuana. The government is also considering requiring cannabis users to register with the government.
“I will also try to ensure that as little cannabis as possible is consumed through conventional smoking because that is what is most damaging to the health,” said Voboril.
The Czech Pirate Party (CPS), the smallest member of the country’s ruling coalition, was responsible for placing the issue of cannabis policy reform on the government’s agenda.
“Legalization will make the Czech Republic a freer country. It will bring billions into public budgets that have so far been wasted on the streets,” the party said on Twitter.
Voboril added that the government is coordinating its plan with officials in Germany, who also released a draft cannabis legalization proposal last month.
“Our colleagues from Germany want hemp for the German market only to be grown and processed within Germany and that we do the same,” he said. “I, on the other hand, think we should supply each other.”
Low-Level Possession Decriminalized
Currently, possession of up to 10 grams (about 0.35 ounces) of cannabis or cultivation of up to five marijuana plants in the Czech Republic is an offense carrying a fine of up to €500 (about $495). Each year, about 20,000 people in the country are fined for cannabis possession. Possession of larger amounts of cannabis is a criminal offense, with those convicted subject to sentences of years behind bars.
Despite the risk, about 30 percent of the adult population in the Czech Republic has tried marijuana, and 8 percent to 9 percent use it regularly, according to a report released in August 2022 by the National Monitoring Center on Drugs and Addiction (NMS). According to the data, approximately 800,000 people in the country use cannabis, out of a total population of around 11 million.
The Czech Republic ranks first among all European Union countries for cannabis use, with 23 percent of those aged 15 to 34 reported to be cannabis users, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
“We are one of the countries with the highest rate of people who have had at least one THC experience in their lifetime,” said Pavla Chominova, head of the monitoring center.