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It’s time to regulate cannabis!

The current repressive state approach to cannabis has proven dysfunctional and counterproductive. Both possession and cultivation for personal use are criminalised and a large proportion of users are forced to rely on the illegal market, with significant negative health and social impacts.

During the many decades that cannabis has been illegal in the Czech Republic, it has become clear that repression does not work – It does not reduce availability of cannabis or the number of users, and it does not protect the health of citizens. On the contrary, it encourages the existence of an illegal market and promotes risky use, unnecessarily criminalises small growers and does not make sense economically. It burdens the health service, the police and the courts, without the state having control over production and distribution. Yet cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug among adults in the Czech Republic. A staggering 22 to 37 per cent of the population have tried it at some point in their lives, and 7 to 10 per cent of people over 15 have tried it in the last 12 months.[1] And a recent opinion poll found that 66 percent of citizens want to see a change in the state’s approach to cannabis.[2]

Based on data from expert studies and the experience of countries that have relaxed their cannabis policies, we are convinced that the dysfunctional state policy towards cannabis needs to be changed and it should be classified as a regulated substance – similar to alcohol or tobacco. At the same time, we should ensure revenue for the state budget by taxing it, with the revenue being used primarily for prevention and education.

Our country needs policy decisions based on facts and scientific knowledge. Ideologies and prejudices are far more damaging to society, health and the economy than sensible and socially acceptable regulation.

  • regulated cannabis to be available to all persons over 18 years of age legally staying in the Czech Republic
  • the creation of a strictly regulated market with cultivation and sales licences
  • reduction of the illegal market and crime
  • restriction of minors’ access to cannabis
  • consumer protection
  • the production and sales of cannabis to be taxed or subject to fees
  • the funds raised to be used for the implementation of prevention and harm reduction measures related to addictive behaviours
  • an end to the bullying of users and the criminalisation of growers
  • the rehabilitation of those convicted and prosecuted for cannabis-related offences
  • reduction of the illegal market and crime
  • restriction of minors’ access to cannabis
  • consumer protection
  • savings in law enforcement
  • increased state revenue
  • increased budget for substance abuse prevention
  • creation of business and job opportunities
  • legal certainty
  • protection of human rights and freedoms

1 Source: The National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addictions Report on Illicit Drugs in the Czech Republic 2023, Prague 2023.
2 Source: Behavio: Opinion poll, 7 December 2022.