Everyone's favorite weed continent has some new policies. 

Over the last two years, we’ve witnessed an explosive amount of development in the United States concerning the use of Marijuana. Colorado jumped in head first, Washington put their toes in and then came the contagion of states questioning why they’re not getting in on the glorious party. But what about Europe? The continent that houses the famous Amsterdam coffee houses and Sweden where liberal takes on an entirely new meaning. What’s going on with the marijuana policies in Europe? Let's take a look at some of the latest developments.


Movies, rumors and your grandparents portray Holland as the liberal capital of the European Union with coffee shops and weed smoking on every corner. This isn't the case anymore. The coffee shops are slowly disappearing due to stricter laws as the government has made a conservative turn and Protestant Ethics and puritanism becomes a dominating trend. The conservative Prime minister even declared Cannabis an enemy of society, stating that if the profits weren't so big, laws would be even stricter. The only hope for Cannabis is that municipalities begin discussing local policies to create cannabis clubs where the users can grow their plants in a regionally controlled way.


Although cannabis use, possession and cultivation are illegal most of the Federal States tolerate Cannabis use and do not prosecute people for possession of small quantities. The discussion seems to be open about Medical Marijuana. As Politicians and ministers agree that cannabis has a medicinal value, new proposals recently submitted in draft legislation and a new state-owned body would be set up to regulate the price of medical marijuana and guarantee the medical standards. Until this happens, the patients have to show a certificate that allows them to buy medical marijuana from other countries.


Spain should be on everyone's radar as it institutes more policies accepting marijuana in medical form — albeit at a Spanish-worker siesta pace. The country has taken steps to improve the medical marijuana industry although the organization and policies seem to be taken a very long time to develop. One such approach is Cannabis Social Clubs where members can buy and smoke marijuana with a card. Getting a card though requires jumping through a couple hoops. Nonetheless, slow growth is still growth and Spain has much to be optimisitic about, especially in Catalonia where the cannabis market is in full swing.


France is the ugly duckling of the Eurozone. Not only is cannabis illegal, but it’s also demonized in a way that does not fit to the liberal profile that France wants to claim for itself. In January 2014, policy makers announced plans to introduce medical marijuana, but that’s been as successful and delayed as the country’s mandatory work-week introductions. But like all countries facing a younger voter demographic and growing soverign debt, this should teeter toward more legalization. 


Prompted by a petition for change that garnered over 220,000 signatures and the University of London's  (Britain's expert on medical marijuana research) urging of the British government to soften the laws regarding medicinal use of the drug, parliament has finally acknowledged the subject of medical marijuana. Still, Conservative Ministers do not plan on changing the law anytime soon, even considering a local treasury's report finding that cannabis legalization could increase the government's income by hundreds of millions of pounds. Moreover, the Institute for Social and Economical Research estimated that a legal cannabis market would cut the UK deficit by £1.25 billion a year. it's only a matter of time before parliament comes to its senses. 

Czech Republic:

The Czech Republic is something of a different story. The government recently announced that it would open The International Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids to explore medical cannabis as it relates to direct foreign investment. Created with the backing of the U.S. and Canada, the center will study the current affects of marijuana on both social and health factors. Policy makers will then take this information and use it to access which policies best support the country. The outlook for cannabis legalization looks optimistic. 

As you can see, when it comes to marijuana plants and cannabis seeds, the policies in Europe vary; Spain and Holland are more lenient toward cannabis while Germany and the Czech Republic are becoming more open-minded all the while France still banishes the plant. With the current developments in the U.S. stance toward marijuana along with the rest of the world, it’s only a matter of time before all of Europe wants to join the glorious party.