As the dust continues to settle following last week’s Brexit vote, which opened the door for England to walk out of the European Union (EU), we decided to look at how this surprising turn of events will affect cannabis consumers.
The isolationist spirit, probably the most negative element of Brexit, has already been felt across Europe as other countries toy with the idea of going it on their own.
Not long ago a certain conservative political party in the Netherlands tried to ban all non-Dutch nationals from enjoying their coffee shops. The ban was narrowly enacted until Brussels stepped in and declared it a breach of EU equality laws.
As it stands, if such a ban was ever enacted, it would be against non-EU citizens, which now includes Brits.
In the case of Spain, some conservative politicians also floated the idea of restricting their smoke clubs to Spaniards only, but ultimately pulled back in view of EU’s laws.
European Union human rights laws provide, in addition to many other things, strong protections as far as cannabis use is concerned.
When it comes to drug legislation, the European Union does not dictate member states’ drug policies, however the EU encourages a tolerant and non-punitive approach to drug use.
Indeed, only a year ago, a report from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), stated that drug use, when not injuring others, should not be illegal in the EU. At the same meeting, many European and British lawmakers agreed that smoking marijuana was a human right.
By leaving the EU, the British are also relinquishing a nicely evolving cannabis legalization movement and will essentially have to go back to square one, where their efforts will end up in the hands of elected officials.
And considering that none of the major political parties have any plans to legalize cannabis, it could be a long time before weed activists can do much to change that.
The Liberal Democrats were the first and major party in the UK to support legalization.
Fortunately for the rest of Europe, cannabis reform is still on track as many countries move toward legalization and decriminalization.