In October 2022, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach held a press conference and announced details of his legalization measure. The announcement came after many months of discussions between Minister Lauterbach and the European Union.
Not long after Minister Lauterbach’s announcement, the Czech Republic’s anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil announced his intent to have his country follow in Germany’s cannabis policy modernization footsteps. Per Radio Prague International at the time:
If national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil’s proposed plan comes into effect in 2024 as he hopes, Czechia could become the second EU country to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. And not only that – it would even go a step further, also making its sale legal. The anti-drug coordinator presented his plan for combatting addiction – which includes the proposal to legalise cannabis – at a press conference this week.
“At the moment, there is a political consensus for me to create this proposal for the regulation of cannabis, a substance which is illegal at the moment. We want to regulate it with the help of the market and we believe that this regulation will be more effective than the current ban.”
The comments made by Jindřich Vobořil followed a Facebook page post in which he stated, “Germany and the Czech Republic go to a regulated market at the same time.”
As time went on, details would emerge regarding the legalization model that the Czech Republic would pursue, which is expected to differ in some aspects compared to what is being proposed in Germany.
In April of last year, officials in the Czech Republic announced an intent to legalize the possession of 5 grams of cannabis, which customers would be able to purchase from regulated outlets after signing up for a government database.
Legalization has yet to happen in the Czech Republic, however, the Czech government’s Economic Council recently recommended regulating adult-use cannabis sales, which demonstrates that the country is still pursuing such reform. Per BRNO Daily:
The Czech government’s National Economic Council (NERV) has again recommended the introduction of a legal regulated cannabis market in the Czech Republic, within its proposal of 37 measures to boost economic growth in the country, released on Tuesday.
“Criminal rates and sentencing principles should be adjusted. In the area of drug policy, a legal regulated cannabis market should be introduced,” NERV stated.
The council said a repressive approach to drugs is a burden on the budget and does not translate into reduced consumption or harm reduction.
A previous analysis from the nation’s Pirate Party determined that regulated cannabis sales could generate CZK 2 billion per year.
This article first appeared on Internationalcbc.com and is syndicated here with special permission.