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What was once an illegal substance is now considered in many countries around the world as being acceptable. As you could guess, I’m talking about cannabis or marijuana. Thanks to its many benefits, cannabis has infiltrated many markets globally, with more and more people joining the bandwagon of users, sellers, transporters, and producers. So, what is its legal status in the Scandinavian world? Well, just a little patience will pay off, as the answer is just around the corner. But first things first: what is cannabis?.
Cannabis is a plant that grows naturally in temperate and tropical conditions. However, by use of what is known as hydroponic technology, many people also grow this plant in just about any climate conditions. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive ingredient in this plant, and it is known for initiating the “high” feeling.
The plant exists in two divisions, which include Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. You can differentiate the two by simply looking at their different physical characteristics. Typically, cannabis is consumed in the form of hash oil, hashish, or marijuana, which are made from the plant’s hashish, resin, and dried leaves respectively.
The Legal Situation of Cannabis in Scandinavia
I must explain that the legality of cannabis products depends upon the country. And while there are countries where the use of cannabis is a way of life, it is a big crime to be found with a cannabis product in many other countries. Let’s explore its legality in Scandinavian countries.
The cannabis laws here are even tougher, with transportation, selling, usage, and production of the plant all forbidden. However, the country allows limited usage of cannabis for medical purposes. For instance, doctors in Sweden may be allowed to prescribe cannabis-based drugs for patients with multiple sclerosis.
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Any cannabis-related activity here is completely illegal, whether it is consuming, selling, cultivating, or possessing. The government of Iceland first declared the illegality of cannabis in 1969, which means the laws here have been in force for about half a century. If you are found in contravention of the law, you would be liable to a fine or jail, which varies depending on the amount of substance you are found with and what you were doing with it. For instance, if you are caught with more than half a kilogram of cannabis, you may be jailed for no less than three months.
Just like in Iceland, possessing, selling, transporting, using, or producing cannabis is prohibited. Any person found using cannabis in the country could be liable to summary fines, which are usually imposed by the police. If the user insists on being taken to court, however, the police have no option but to comply. Those found culpable of serious cannabis offenses, such as selling, typically face a trial in the court of law, and the penalties for such people are usually harsher.
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It was not until recently (2018) that the laws on the use and possession of cannabis in Norway were adjusted to favor the country’s citizens. This was upon the realization that the citizens were missing out on the medicinal effects of the substance. As such, Norwegians who are found to be in possession of small amounts of cannabis are not brought to book. Rather, they are treated for any possible addiction issues etc.
The Danes are, by law, prohibited from everything cannabis-related. Those found culpable may be fined or jailed, but the same law also protects (since the amendment of the 1955 Euphoriants Act in 2004) the Danes found with limited quantities (less than 10 grams) of cannabis. Such people may only be warned by the authorities. However, they may face the law if they are repeatedly found committing the same offense.
This article originally appeared on Green Market Report and has been reposted with permission.