Why is change needed in the Czech Republic? They answered this question the speakers in the first block, who told their stories and how they the senseless criminalization of their actions affected their lives. One of the Miroslav Koláčný was one of the speakers. He went through the experience with his son literally through hell when they were prosecuted and tried for growing cannabis and making a medicinal ointment for their sick wife and mother. ”When I read those cases of people who wanted to treat themselves with a medicinal plant cannabis, or wanted to help their loved ones, and were judged for it and sentenced often to many years in prison, it makes me sad that something such a monstrous thing is happening in the 21st century in a democratic country,” says Miroslav Koláčný. „The law enforcement authorities in these cases absolutely scandalous abuse of the law that allows them to to persecute and destroy the lives of completely innocent people who have no have harmed no one, have harmed no one, and the social danger of their of their actions is absolutely zero. The blame also lies with the legislators - the legislators. Law 167/1998 has been in force for many years. No government across the political parties, apart from minor adjustments, has been unwilling and able to change anything about this absurd law,” he adds, calling for a necessary change in legislation.
The panel discussion, which was part of the second block, included Representatives of associations and organisations working on various topics related to cannabis. One of them was a representative of KOPAC, MUDr. Pavel Kubů. He commented on the need for legislative change he said: „A rational end to prohibition and debunking the myths about cannabis in our society will not only help reduce the level of pain and suffering in aging population, but will accelerate the growth of a new industry. Among other things, the cannabis industry has the potential to provide energy independence for our country if its development is not continually blocked by outdated legislation dating back to the war on drugs.”
Other panelists included the authors of Charter 420, which publicly calls for and urging the Chamber of Deputies to take steps to adopt legislation that will lead to the decriminalization of cannabis and the creation regulated cannabis market. „A grey zone of illegal producers has gradually developed in our country and sellers who profit from the current situation. Over the final product, neither the state nor the consumer who buys goods of uncertain quality," says acclaimed rapper James Cole. Director and producer Jakub Hussar adds: "Many states have already gone through the decriminalization process and we can easily to follow the tried-and-tested practices. That's why we say to politicians - heed our call and bring the Czech Republic closer to the developed world."
The event was also attended by the Advisor to the National Coordinator for Drug Policy and Research Director of the Rational Think Tank addiction policy research associate professor. MUDr. Viktor Mravčík, Ph.D. He commented on Tuesday's event: „It's good that decriminalisation and legislative change is increasingly more and more often in the public space. I think it is not in it's not right for us to have a higher penalty for growing cannabis than for than violent crimes. Unfortunately, it's not just about being high penalties are just a threat, but high penalties are a common reality. This was also shown by the stories told by the participants at the morning session. That is why the Czech Republic needs change, and I believe in it, that it will happen soon.”
Several different models for the decriminalisation and rational regulation of cannabis then presented in the study How to Regulate Cannabis and Comply Conventions in the European Union (Models of Decriminalization and Regulation of cannabis in accordance with international law and the EU legal order). The latter was conducted by French researcher Kenzi Riboulet-Zemouli, who presented it at the event.
The Cannabis Regulatory Association was established at the end of 2022. is intended to bring together all actors in the cannabis field, be it businesses, patient associations or representatives of the general public public to support and promote rational regulation cannabis.
The Rational Addiction Policy Think Tank is a multidisciplinary consortium of independent and distinguished experts who are dedicated to addiction issues from all angles. Therefore, they are dedicated to addiction in the context of public and individual health, legislation, the fiscal and economic impact on public budgets and other areas.
The event was realized with the financial support of OSF - Open Society Foundation.
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