Drug law in the European Union
What a complete mess! Sweden and Spain are the two extremes for the law on drugs in the European Union. Sweden follows a zero tolerance policy whereas Spain has decriminalized personal consumption. I was recently talking to a young Swedish person who didn’t want to, but had to smoke the legal synthetic cannabis instead of the real thing. He thought that the synthetic cannabis had messed him up, but he didn’t feel he had a choice. All his friends smoke synthetic pot regularly. I told him as strongly as I could, not to touch synthetic marijuana. It is dangerous and is mixed with strange chemicals in a warehouse somewhere in China. In contrast I have lived in Spain. Sharing a joint at the beach is a great way to spend an afternoon. I never made it to the Barcelona cannabis clubs but there was never a need to go to one as you could buy hash from the Moroccan guys or weed from Spanish friends.
Young European adults are exposed to the same western culture. Generally speaking, cannabis is seen as something fun and not dangerous. Science backs up this point of view but our governments treat cannabis as more dangerous than alcohol. The reason they do this is because America was so aggressive during the heights of their failed drugs war that they would economically punish countries if they didn’t conform to their ideas about drugs. Waves of propaganda left the public thinking that marijuana was something very bad. Thankfully today we are seeing the disastrous war on drugs coming to an end. In fact the American marijuana industry will soon be giving money to the politicians who I’m sure will then act in the industries best interest.
European citizens are in a state of confusion. Force fed a diet of American anti marijuana propaganda for decades it will take time to regain a factual approach and perspective to the herb. We have laws that currently make criminals out of European Union citizens for taking a substance into their bodies that is proven less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. We are punished for the circular argument of, because cannabis is illegal it is illegal. Almost all European countries treat cannabis as different from other drugs. This special treatment of marijuana is nice, but people are still going to prison for possession. We need change. Medical marijuana has helped patients that get access to it. From chronic pain to cancer the plant has shown wondrous medical benefits so every day that drags along without Brussels or our elected governments talking and doing something about it, is another day that a chronic pain sufferer must either pump toxic chemicals into their bodies or live with the constant maddening pain their illnesses inflict.
I also feel sorry for the Swedish people forced to use synthetic marijuana. Their government has failed them and is now too ignorant to admit their mistake and correct it. Swedish people might have to battle long and hard for legal access to the plant. The sooner they get organized and have their voice heard the better. There are great organizations out there to help. Norml and Encod.org can give a framework for activism. Europeans that are pro pot must connect and cooperate with each other. Cannabis is our choice, not the whim of a bloated, intellectually stunted bureaucratic system. We must take our rights, not ask for them. Cannabis clubs are a safe, organized approach to the subject and we will see the results in the following months and years.