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Albania Seeks Public Opinion Legalization of Medical Cannabis

As part of a #nationwide consultation initiative, #Albanian #Prime #Minister Edi Rama posted a question in late #January to seek the views of Albanians on the legalization of #medical #cannabis. Widely debated in the country, Edi Rama affirms that to make a decision, the opinion of the #citizens is necessary. “Some believe that #Albania should allow the #cultivation, processing and export of cannabis for #medical purposes, under state control, without legalizing it for #personal use. Others say cannabis shouldn't be allowed for medical purposes either.

The questionnaire also states that “medical cannabis, which is different from cannabis for personal use, has curative effects largely proven by science. However, as the experience of different countries in the region or in the #world shows, the controlled use of cannabis by the state has a very positive impact not only on #health, but also on economic growth and the fight against illegal use of this plant. Since the fall of the former communist regime, Albania is widely known to be one of the biggest cannabis producing countries in Europe. The recent intensification of police raids, motivated in particular by the desire to join the European Union, has produced mixed results. Cannabis trafficking is severely punished there, and exceptions to the #penalty exist for personal use or for small quantities, without them being clearly defined.

Medical cannabis is still not allowed there, hence the present question, and #hemp has been placed on the narcotics list there since 2000, for fear of fostering the illicit cannabis trade. The Albanian government, in 2016, discussed the legalization of the cultivation of industrial hemp, but this was never realized or authorized. Its neighbors in the #Balkans, however, have less reluctance to move forward on medical cannabis.

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