Greece is a nation with a national debt that exceeded 180% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. Their parliament is both disorganized and contentious, and whether they elected to narrowly approve the legalization of Greek medical marijuana for financial reasons or for the well being of their people, they did in fact legalize it.
We are very focused on the legalization of marijuana here in the United States, but we should not ignore the wave of change occurring in Europe. Laws in Europe are more focused on medical marijuana or decriminalization instead of recreational cannabis, but Germany as an example has incorporated their medical marijuana program into their national healthcare system. Greece drugs policies have been strict in the past, so their willingness to open up to medical marijuana is a big step for them even though it looks to be limited to hemp based products.
“We are discussing the licensing of a single, integrated unit that includes production, processing and production of finished medicinal products of hemp. That’s what it is about,” said Health Minister Andreas Xanthos.
The opposition parties that voted in favor of the bill said the framework introduced by the government is neither complete, nor clearly defined, however it is a first step in the right direction.
New Democracy said it does not question the value of medicinal cannabis but is against the way the government is passing laws, because it is not including safeguards to prevent uncontrolled cultivation, production and sale.
The Communist Party not only voted against the bill but called on the ministry to withdraw it, accusing the government of opening up the sector to “vultures” and “murderous multinationals”.
There are other nations in the eurozone that could use a commodity like marijuana to add to their own domestic product. Both Spain and Italy have relaxed laws somewhat on marijuana, but they could loosen the rules up much more. Both countries are in massive debt and Italy has even seen an uprising in fascist parties like CasaPound or Forza Nuova. Do you think that Greek medical marijuana will be able to make a big difference for Greece?