Sweden has no tolerance for hashish!
Of all EU member states, Sweden is the most restrictive EU country when it comes to regulating cannabis due to its strict zero tolerance policy for THC.
In most cases where the Nordic countries are mentioned nowadays, people usually talk about their forward-looking mentality regarding prison systems, their strong economy, the flourishing tourism industry and the social systems that are actually beneficial to their people. When it comes to many things like healthcare, school systems and employee benefits, places like Sweden, Norway and Denmark are the epitome of progress and at a higher level than the rest of the world.
This does not extend to their cannabis policy, especially in Sweden.
While much of the world – including most of the other EU member states – is slowly sliding towards looser cannabis laws, Sweden has actually tightened its laws recently. Of all EU member states, recent court decisions have made Sweden the most restrictive country to handle cannabis in any form.
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Sweden & Drugs
You are not legal. This is the short version. All of it. Everything is not legal. You really don't play around there. To be clear, medication of almost any kind is in no way legal. Under the Narcotics Penal Act, the use or possession of illegal substances is illegal and punishable.
Smaller offenses are punished with fines and shorter prison terms of 6 months, with more serious offenses being imprisoned for 6 to 10 years. Violations of use and possession make up the vast majority of drug law violations, the number of which had decreased by 2017. While the original laws have been updated several times, one of the most notable is the criminalization of small amounts of drugs for personal use in 1988, with prison sentences as a punishment in 1993.
Sweden & Cannabis
Cannabis is essentially 100% illegal for both medical and recreational purposes. In a June 18, 2019 court ruling on a CBD oil, it was found that any product containing any amount of THC is subject to Swedish narcotics laws. Industrial hemp is exempt from this law, but a product made from it is not. It all came about because a man was arrested in connection with several bottles of CBD oil with an unspecified THC content in 2017 and prosecuted for it.
The case went to the Swedish Supreme Court, where it was decided that the oil itself, despite being from legal industrial hemp, was itself classified as an anesthetic due to the presence of THC. The court confirmed that a preparation is everything that contains psychotropic substances – in whatever condition (oil, tincture, mixture), and that THC is a psychotropic substance. Taken together, it does everything that comes from the cannabis plant with any amount of THC, an illegal product.
Some amazing benefits from using THC
The EU standard for THC in hemp products is a maximum of 0.2%, with certain countries lowering or slightly increasing the amount permitted in legal products. Sweden is the only country to reduce this amount to zero, making products with a trace amount of THC illegal. This means that CBD – cannabidiol – a cannabis cannabinoid that has no psychoactive properties, but has been shown repeatedly in research to help with a variety of health problems, from insomnia to pain management, and is illegal if any Contains amount of THC no matter how small.
CBD has become more popular worldwide in recent years and offers potential solutions to medical problems that would otherwise require heavy medicines or have no immediate answer. The use of CBD was a great help in the search for legalization of cannabis and offered a non-psychoactive benefit profile to a plant that was mainly associated with high value. Many countries that have not relaxed their recreational cannabis laws have relaxed their medical cannabis laws. Sweden is not one of them.
Does Sweden have a cannabis culture?
Even in the most restrictive countries, there are often growing setbacks among citizens when it comes to cannabis laws. Throughout history, cannabis use has been like an annoying cockroach that cannot be completely wiped out. Nowadays, it seems almost silly that this point has not been fully worked out, and governments are still trying to do what they could never achieve (and with a drug that really poses no danger).
But that seems to be the case, and however forward-looking Sweden may be when it comes to dealing with social issues, it remains in the dark age of understanding when it comes to cannabis handling, and this while it is part of it that has shifted towards loose cannabis regulation over the years.
Most of the world is loosening restrictions on smokable cannabis products as Sweden is becoming stricter
For a country so determined to take action against a change in global politics, Sweden is far from actually getting rid of marijuana use. Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal substance in Sweden. A 2017 poll by the Swedish Alcohol and Drug Information Council (CAN) showed that 4% of citizens between the ages of 18 and 34 had used at least one illegal substance in the past year.
On the other hand, statistics from the 2015 European School Survey on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) indicate that Sweden has less than half of the European average cannabis use among students, which is not surprising given the strict regulations there are laws. The marijuana culture that exists does this in a very underground way, but like this cockroach, it never manages to be completely wiped out.
We don't smoke it, but we buy the shares!
While Sweden has some of the most repressive cannabis laws in one of these major reversals, Swedish investors are certainly not missing out on a good investment opportunity, even if it means investing in companies that sell illegal drugs or utensils for you.
And there seem to be no laws against it. In 2018, it was reported how strong Swedish investors are in the global cannabis markets, with cannabis growers and growing utensils companies that brought in hundreds of millions of Swedish kronor in the first months of 2018.
Double-digit losses for cannabis stocks
It is a clear, but not unexpected, contradiction in which the business / investment side of life is in direct contradiction to criminal law, and it shows in the long run where loyalties really lie and how the chance of winning big can potentially be Compensate for strict laws and work to change them. Hopefully cannabis use policy will be as weak in the future as cannabis investment policy in Sweden.
A country like Sweden can be very proud and is a world leader in many ways when it comes to government and social infrastructure. It has a high priority in terms of viability, is considered a clean and beautiful country and seems to invest heavily in the life and well-being of its people with things like free health care and free education.
For these reasons, it's hard to argue – I mean, they're doing a pretty good job, aren't they? And people seem healthier than in other places; Sweden is generally one of the healthier countries. It is difficult, of course, to point to the country and say that they are doing something wrong. However, it creates a certain separation that such a future-oriented country that cares for its citizens would deny them useful medicine and would not work to keep up with the changes in medical knowledge about cannabis.
I assume old patterns are difficult to break, and countries like Sweden and Japan underline this idea. In the coming years, it will be interesting to see how closely Sweden adheres to its anti-cannabis policy and how the country can change in different ways by giving it up.
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