Greece is one of the latest countries in Europe to legalize medical marijuana. The new law, however, has not yet been implemented.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced in June that doctors will soon be allowed to prescribe marijuana to treat various medical conditions. With this announcement, Greece became the sixth member of the European Union to legalize the medical use of cannabis – the others being Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, and Finland.
According to Tsipras, patients suffering from PTSD, epilepsy, chronic pain, and cancer can soon have legal access to doctor-prescribed marijuana in dealing with their condition. The Prime Minister, however, still has to indicate how the government will go about legal medical marijuana cultivation and distribution. It should be noted that Greece already permits the regulated cultivation of marijuana with up to 0.2% THC, while strictly prohibiting the cultivation of full-strength buds.
Moreover, according to Dope Magazine, Tsipras also revealed that marijuana will be downgraded to Table B drug from Table A, thus putting it in the same category as opium and methadone with approved medical values. Table A drug is equivalent to Schedule I drug in the United States and Class A in the United Kingdom.
This reclassification means that the government can potentially grant licenses for the cultivation of cannabis in the near future. The state is yet to make an announcement pertaining to potential licensing procedures.
Cannabis in Greece
If you don’t already know, Greece boasts a long history of producing marijuana and high-quality hashish, which it exported throughout the European continent.
In 1890, the country outlawed hashish production and usage, although the laws were basically ineffective. A culture of marijuana cultivation and use persisted in certain rural pockets of Greece. The use of cannabis even rose after World War I, with Greek refugees and soldiers arriving in mainland Greece and bringing their marijuana habit with them. This marijuana upsurge then faded due to the disorder and substantial death of the German occupation after the 2nd World War.
Today, though, you can still find hashish and marijuana easily. There is no shortage of dealers in city squares and street corners. However, people and street vendors tend to be paranoid, so the best way to score marijuana is through local contacts. Befriend and local, and chances are he would know where you can get some. You can also try beach areas, where summer fever is strong with weed.
How much does marijuana cost in Greece? You can get one gram of marijuana for 10-12 euros. There are also low- quality herbal weed imported from Albania and low- to medium-quality hashish from Turkey and Morocco selling for 6-9 euros. Meanwhile, Greek home grown weed costs 15 euros, as do skunks. A gram of charas, on the other hand, is priced 16 euros.
Great-tasting and very potent Greek weed or buds like Kalamata and Albanses are now rare and are not likely to be sold along with some local items. “Good stuff” like these are mostly acquired in villages that are far away from Athens or if you are well-connected.
Current cannabis legislation
Possession of recreational cannabis – as well as use and cultivation – is illegal in the country. But in 2013, the country’s drug law was amended and was made more lenient.
Those caught with only a small quantity for personal use can be arrested, but they are rarely convicted in court. If they are, prison sentence does not exceed five months. Possession or sale of large amounts of cannabis, on the other hand, could mean imprisonment for at least eight years. This custodial sentence may be waived or suspended in certain circumstances and will not be reflected on the offender’s record provided that the same offence is not committed within a period of five years. In special circumstances, including trafficking of cannabis with links to serious organized crime, or trafficking by medical professionals, authorities may impose life imprisonment.
The 2013 amendment likewise removed the limits for personal cannabis consumption, which had been set previously at 20 grams of herbal cannabis and 2.5 grams of hashish.
In April 2017, the Greek Ministry of Health announced that measures allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for certain medical conditions were on their way. Then in July 2016, the Ministry revealed that a panel of psychiatrists, academics, and other experts were set to discuss the possibility of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.