Albania legalizes medical cannabis

Albania legalizes medical cannabis

Parliament approved the measure by a vote of 69-23. Albanian lawmakers on Friday approved a measure legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

The country’s parliament “voted 69-23 to allow limited and controlled growth of cannabis plants, a move harshly contested by the opposition,” according to the Associated Press.

As the AP noted, the bill’s passage is notable given Albania’s history as “a European crossroads for marijuana trafficking.”

“Marijuana growing flourished in Albania in the past as drug traffickers exploited a lack of strong governance in the post-Communist country. After coming to power in 2013, the left-wing Socialist Party government of Prime Minister Edi Rama set destroying cannabis plants as a main target,” the Associated Press reported. Over the next two years it destroyed millions of cannabis plants with an estimated market value of 7 billion euros ($8.5 billion), more than two-thirds of the country’s annual gross domestic product at that time. In 2014, a police officer was fatally shot during a crackdown on a southern village using armored personnel carriers. Police came under automatic weapon and rocket fire from drug growers. Albania is still a main route for trafficking hard drugs. Police still crack down on isolated cases of cannabis growing, but much less often than a decade ago.”

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Image by Allexxandar on Freepik



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