Plans for the liberalisation of cannabis unfold across the continent. In December 2021, Malta became the first EU Member State to legalise the cultivation and personal consumption of cannabis. The new German government is contemplating similar legalisation, and other countries could follow suit. Legalising is a difficult endeavour, but a necessary one since the detrimental consequences of criminalisation have never been felt more clearly.   

Fully legalising cannabis is the only way forward. But decriminalisation is only a first step towards the inclusion of cannabis in the normal legal channels of the economy. It would not only constitute a significant reform of our police and criminal justice systems, but it would also enable public authorities to devise an effective public health policy, targeting youngsters especially. It would also allow an entirely new economic sector to flourish, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across Europe and generating a considerable amount of revenue for the public purse.  

The first is that any attempt at legalising cannabis should have two main interrelated objectives at heart: removing the cannabis business from illegal hands by eradicating the black market and conducting a genuine public health policy.  

This prevention policy should aim at protecting youngsters from the drug, offering treatment to hazardous users and informing the wider public of the effects of cannabis and its various modes of consumption. Achieving the first of these two objectives is paramount, for it is impossible to take effective action regarding health as long as cannabis remains confined to illegal channels.  

Moderator:  Daniel Kaddik, Executive Director, European Liberal Forum 

Speakers include:

The panel is based on ELF and GenerationLibre report ‘For a free cannabis market in France: Fight the black market, protect consumers’.

For a free cannabis market in France Fight the black market, protect consumers by Kevin Brookes and Edouard Hesse
ELF will organise two panels at LibertyCon Europe 2022. Learn more about the ‘Where is the West after Covid? Discussing the Long-term Consequences of the Pandemic on the Idea of Liberty’ panel.

Check out photos from the event on Flickr.

An event organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF). Co-funded by the European Parliament. The views expressed herein are those of the speaker(s) alone. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the European Parliament and/or the European Liberal Forum. 

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