In Romania, marijuana is considered a high-risk drug. It is strictly prohibited for recreational use, yet it is permitted for medical use.
Meanwhile, in Malta, cannabis is illegal but is partially decriminalized.
Romania is very strict and conservative when it comes to cannabis. If you are found with even just 1 gram of weed in your pocket, you will definitely face jail time.
Romanian law also prohibits the possession, cultivation, use, testing, and sale of cannabis and hash. Offenders will get six months to 5 years in prison, plus fine. Meanwhile, drug dealing will get you 15 to 17 years in jail.
The Narcotic Drug Regulations is the one that controls cannabis and its derivatives in Romania.
Legalization of Medical Marijuana
In 2013, Romania became the 10th EU member-country to legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes after Austria, Finland, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Czech Republic, and Spain. This means that qualified medical patients suffering from diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy can use cannabis derivatives to alleviate their pain.
Patients can get medical cannabis from pharmacies, and it will be treated the same way as other controlled narcotics, such as morphine. Only those who have a doctor’s prescription will be able to avail of the substance.
Under Maltese law, cannabis is considered a dangerous drug. However, cannabis is decriminalized in that first-time offenders caught in possession of small quantities of the substance are handed fines of €50 to €100. Repeat offenders, meanwhile, are required to appear before the Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Board, which will set the conditions for rehabilitation. Breach of these conditions is equal to a criminal offense.
People caught with larger amounts of marijuana can face 12 months to 10 years imprisonment, and a fine of €500 to €23,300. Trafficking of the substance could land offenders three years in jail to life imprisonment. They will also be required to pay a fine of €2,300 to €117,000.
The small island country is also very strict when it comes to the importation of illicit drugs, even very small quantities of cannabis. At the airport, customs use advanced detection methods with sniffer dogs. The police and the Armed Forces of Malta have also established major presence at tourist events, as well as stage regular roadblocks on major tourist routes.
Compared to other European countries, Malta has lesser incidents of marijuana use. And even if the country has a warm Mediterranean climate, which is very favorable for growing cannabis plants, only a few people grow it because of its strict anti-marijuana laws and its tight police enforcement. Needless to say, the cultivation of cannabis plants in Malta is considered a very serious crime.
Legalization of medical cannabis in Malta
Malta’s cabinet recently approved a bill allowing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. This approved bill will now be presented to Parliament for debate.
Malta’s current law already permits specialists – oncologists, neurologists, psychologists or anesthesiologists – to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. However, because of so many restrictions, only a very few people in the country have been able to prescribe it successfully. What’s more, the only form of medical marijuana legally available in the country is the very expensive Sativex. Medical cannabis is, therefore, only legal in theory but really inaccessible in practice.
The new legislation, in essence, makes medical marijuana regulations less restricted. The new bill proposes that all doctors be allowed to prescribe medical cannabis to patients. Furthermore, it would pave the way for allowing other medical preparations such as oils, extracts, or syrups.
However, the proposal does not include specific provisions as to whether the actual cannabis plant can be grown in the country.