Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Croatia Introduces Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana: MP Mirela Holy

Will Croatia be the first country in Europe to fully legalize recreational marijuana? According to Croatian MP Mirela Holy (SDP), the upcoming proposed legislation would allow each adult to grow up to nine marijuana plants with high THC content for personal use. Nobody has ever died from a natural cannabis overdose, she emphasized.


Mirela Holy | RTL Direkt

Croatia Marijuana Bill Goes to Public Debate Soon

In recent years, HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) has begun to change its rigid views on marijuana. However, more and more people believe that decriminalization is not enough. One of them is Mirela Holy, SDP Green Development Council President, and one of the most prominent public figures supporting "Lex Cannabis". She revealed that the bill will be going to public debate within a week and that will be followed by a parliamentary debate. The bill would provide for the full legalization of cannabis.

“’We invite all those interested to participate in the public debate,’ reads the bill and comments. It envisages the full legalization and liberalization of hemp, which means that it fully envisages harnessing all the potential of cannabis for economic, recreational and medical purposes,'' explained Holy to Mojmira Pastorčić/RTL Direkt on February 10, 2020.

She points out that current models of recreational regulation have either gone under state control like in Uruguay or through the private sector like in Canada and the US.

Hybrid State Agency Model to Maintain Product Quality

''We propose a state agency hybrid (state/private) model to maintain the high quality (of the product) in the market. When it comes to the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, the bill would allow every adult to grow as many as nine female plants with high THC content for their personal needs.''

''Hemp farming has great economic potential. Given its high quality in terms of cleaning soil and up to four times higher CO2 absorption, growing hemp can also be an important tool in the fight against climate change. The economic benefits are enormous, for the development of science, cosmetics use and paper production,'' Holy added.

Experience in other countries shows that there is still a black market, but that is why, she notes, state regulation is necessary to minimize the role of the black market.


US and Canada: 40 Billion EUR Annual Marijuana Earnings

''Earnings estimates from the sale of cannabis-related products in Canada and the US reach $43.7 billion (40 billion EUR) annually. In addition, the potential of hemp has not been fully realized. It can be used to build cars and as building materials for the construction industry,'' Holy explains.

Marijuana is legal for recreational and medical use in Canada, Uruguay, Georgia and South Africa. Eleven US States and DC have also legalized marijuana: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine.

Recreational marijuana use is illegal but decriminalized in the following European countries: Portugal, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Czechia, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Estonia and Moldova.


Marijuana is illegal for recreational use in all European countries but laws vary. | Herbonaut

Recreational Marijuana Decriminalized in Croatia: Legal for Medical Use

According to current Croatian law, growing or selling cannabis is considered a felony punishable by a mandatory prison sentence (three years minimum). The possession of a small amount of marijuana and other light drugs is considered a minor offence which can lead to a fine of 5000 to 20000 HRK (671 to 2682 EUR) depending on the case.

As of October 15, 2015; the Croatian Ministry of Health had officially legalized the use of cannabis-based drugs for medical purposes for patients with illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, or AIDS.

However, many still wonder if Croatia is still a too conservative as a society for full recreational marijuana legalization, but Holy responds:

"When I started talking about this a few years ago, reactions were very negative, but things have changed. People need to be educated first and then they will change their attitudes. The addictive potential (of marijuana) is much less than the addictive potential of nicotine or alcohol. And, to my knowledge, nobody has ever died from an overdose of natural cannabis. Nevertheless, there are major prejudices which are fueled by the interests of certain groups and industries,'' Holy concluded.

Follow our Politics page for updates on the upcoming efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Croatia.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Dubrovnik Police Handed 43.8 Kilograms of Marijuana

A suspicious discovery as Dubrovnik police discover sodden packets of marijuana washed up in and around the city.

During the winter along the southern Dalmatian coast, numerous rather odd objects and suspicious packages end up being washed up. From waste dragged up by the strong currents from the south ending up caught in Dubrovnik's harbour, to packets of marijuana lying around on the beach, Dubrovnik plays host to some unusual debris at this time of year.

Marijuana has been discovered by people just going about their business on several occasions along the southern Dalmatian coast, where it appears to have been dropped typically by passing vessels travelling between Albania and Montenegro and Italy.

It appears that the mysterious marijuana packages have returned, as Dubrovnik police end up receiving yet more discoveries from the shoreline.

As Morski writes on the 4th of February, 2019, last weekend, Dubrovnik police found two sea soaked packages of marijuana with a total weight of 43.8 kg in two different locations, more specifically the seafront in Dubrovnik itself and considerably further away on the island of Šipan, which is part of the picturesque Elaphite islands that lie just north of Dubrovnik.

The discovered packets of marijuana are now being stored at the official premises of the Dubrovnik Police Administration, after which their destruction will follow.

The Dubrovnik-Neretva Police Administration, with the help of international police cooperation, is currently conducting a proper criminal investigation into the discovered packages in order to attempt to determine the origin of the packages, according to a statement made by the Dubrovnik Police Administration.

Discoveries such as this one give the term sea weed an an entirely new meaning.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything you need to know going on up and down the country by following our dedicated news page. If it's just Dubrovnik and southern Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow to keep up with what's going on in the Pearl of the Adriatic.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Sea Weed? 156kg of Marijuana Found by Citizens of Orebić and Mljet

It tends to happen at this time of year, at least it has over the last few, as the bura and the jugo winds beat the Dalmatian coast on a regular basis, bringing in all sorts of bizarre things on the strong currents to the Dalmatian coastline. It isn't unusual for innocent citizens simply taking a walk around the shoreline stumble upon rather large quantities of marijuana and other very drowned drugs.

Nobody is ever quite sure where the marijuana has really come from, and the assumption is usually that these illegal packages have simply ''lost their way'' on a journey between either Albania and Montenegro on their way to Italy, but alas, the phenomenon continues to begin to occur around November time.

As Morski writes on the 4th of November, 2018, citizens of Mljet and Orebic reported the rather surprising discovery of as much as 156 kilograms of marijuana floating in the sea. The now very wet packages of marijuana were picked up by the Dubrovnik-Neretva police at Orebić, Blato on Korčula, and on the island of Mljet on the basis of various reports from the residents of the aforementioned areas, both on the Dalmatian mainland and on nearby islands.

As is usually the case with such packages, the general assumption of the police is that the boxes of marijuana were initially on their way from either Albania or Montenegro towards their final destination of Italy, where they fell from their vessel and ended up being swept along to the Croatian coast by the current.

This is otherwise a very common sea route for drug smugglers, and the winds that typically hit the Croatian coast at this time of year can typically end up bringing these lost packages to the Croatian coast, according to a report from Dubrovacki Dnevnik.

An investigation is now being conducted to try to work out exactly where, and from whom, the drugs came from, as has been stated from the competent police administration, who thanked the citizens of the aforementioned locations for alerting them to the drug packages. The police have also asked for anyone else who comes across suspicious packages in the sea or washed up on the shore to alert them.

Want to keep up with more information like this? Make sure to follow our news page.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Over 33kg of Marijuana seized in Slavonski Brod - Second seizure in a week

According to reports, the marijuana originated in Eastern Europe and was intended for sale ''on the market'' within the European Union.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Kilos of Floating Marijuana Found in Dubrovnik

People sometimes claim to be living the ''high life'' when enjoying the varying levels of luxury in Dubrovnik, but until now, have they really?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Still No Demand for Medical Marijuana in Split Pharmacies

Marijuana may be legal for medical purposes in Croatia, but the take-up has been weak in Split.