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Denmark Cannabis Laws

September 13, 2017
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Denmark CanalWhen compared with other Western European nations, Denmark is unique in that it’s harsher toward the consumption and possession of marijuana. Even with trials under way on medical marijuana’s potential health benefits (medical marijuana can be prescribed but only a few strains), the country has a strict approach towards possession and distribution. Sifting through statutes is a bit hard as most of them are in Danish, but international drug reports have extracted the most important laws that relate to marijuana. Denmark cannabis laws are less about the amount and more about the type of substance; more specifically, marijuana isn’t necessarily considered a “dangerous substance,” so courts can be a bit more lenient. However, an amount that implies small-scale or large-scale distribution can result in decades of prison time.  

Ever since 1955, under the Euphoriants Act, drugs were categorized into separate schedules, similar to what the current US federal approach is toward illegal drugs. Another thing to note is that Denmark’s cannabis laws make it difficult to gauge what punishments will be. For example, a conservative Danish judge that deems recreational marijuana to be on par in terms of danger with cocaine can put a person in jail for a lengthy amount of time for smoking a joint. Also, political parties are quite divided on the topic, as the Socialists view recreational marijuana as a way to treat ailments, while the Moderates see it as eventually becoming part of the mainstream economy. Similar to the US, the Christian Conservative Wing of the countryside pushes hard against strong governmental enforcement, which has resulted in violent raids in the famous cannabis neighborhood of Freetown Christiania. 

Freetown Christiania has been an enigma of sorts in Denmark: the neighborhood is located in the Copenhagen Metropolitan Area, but it asserts that it’s autonomous and not under the jurisdiction of the Danish Capital. The founding of the town is quite hilarious as a few homeless people bypassed the guards in an abandoned barracks located in the neighborhood. Freetown Christiania then became a communal utopia as the small neighborhood – of now, around 1,000 people – provided a public bath, public entertainment, and other necessities. Of course, marijuana was used abundantly and without any reservation. Local authorities were caught in a bind because the government typically turned a blind eye to this neighborhood. Still, pot shops were shut down in 2004 but people in Freetown Christiania continued to cultivate marijuana.  After it was known that major drugs were being transported into the neighborhood and being distributed throughout Denmark, the government decided to raid suspected drug houses. With these raids came an unfair demonization of marijuana and a harsh approach to those who possessed it. Overall, Denmark is quite complicated when it comes to cannabis law, but we here at Leafbuyer have uncovered the relevant legal information in order to provide a clear explanation for our followers.  

Laws Translated Into English Context Via the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction  

Classification Of Cannabis

Classification of Cannabis"The annex to the Executive Order no. 749 of 1 July 2008 on euphoriant substances lists 5 schedules, A, B, C, D and E.  Schedule A includes substances such as: cannabis, heroin, prepared opium, etc. Schedule B includes substances such as: cocaine, MDMA, amphetamines, methadone. Schedule C includes substances such as codeine, while schedule D contains barbiturates and schedule E contains tranquillisers."

Analysis

As mentioned earlier, the problem is that cannabis has remained on the schedule A list. Therefore, the Court system, in relation to how they charge those in possession with crimes, varies from region to region. In a relatively small nation, this has presumably caused issues for those traveling throughout the country. So, if you’re a tourist, you may want to do your research to see which areas have the highest conviction rate. 

Importation and Possession Of Cannabis

"Import and export of drugs is punishable both under the Euphoriants Act, and – under the circumstances mentioned above – also under section 191 of the Criminal Code. Possession of drugs for the purpose of distribution other than small quantities of cannabis will usually result in imprisonment."

Analysis

Don’t bring drugs into other countries. Many tourists make the rounds in Europe and decide to travel to Amsterdam, where pot shops are legal. Nonetheless, importing marijuana can end up being perceived as a distribution charge if one leaves Amsterdam with pot. Looking closely at the statute, if you have a couple bags of dope, the authorities have the discretion to charge you with distribution. Seriously, just don’t transport marijuana into the country and it’s imperative to not possess more than one bag at a time. 

Possession Amounts Considered Drug Trafficking

"Whether trafficking of drugs is punished in accordance with the Euphoriants Act or section 191 of the Criminal Code depends on the type and quantity of drugs. With regard to heroin or cocaine, the case is subsumed under section 191 if the quantity is approximately 25 g or more, whereas the corresponding limit for amphetamine is approximately 50 g and for cannabis approximately 10 kg." 

Analysis

One good thing about the total amount of marijuana is that’s it’s high, however, I must reiterate: judges have a strong discretion to use the “dangerous substance” description to bypass this high threshold for marijuana possession. Now, I would assume that generally if you don’t have items that insinuate selling drugs, or more than 10 kg, then you’ll likely not be in too much legal trouble, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Amendments

“The Euphoriants Act was amended in 1996 in order to increase the penalty for professional drug pushers who until then had avoided serious sanctions by carrying very small quantities of drugs at a time. Following the amendment, repeated sales of smaller quantities of a particularly harmful drug is considered a significantly aggravating circumstance.” 

Analysis

This specific doesn’t change the law too much but it essentially places harsher punishments on those accused of selling. 

Latest Developments for Medical Marijuana

A few years ago, medicinal marijuana was legalized in Denmark. However, getting a medical marijuana card is quite difficult and reserved for more patients with serious ailments. As of now, medical marijuana cards are mostly given out to cancer patients or those suffering from multiple sclerosis. Moreover, pot was, not too long ago, allowed to be grown in Denmark so physicians had to import it from other countries. Recently, however, the country has granted permits to local farmers because of the country fears that other illegal substances could be brought into the country. Also, the country wants domestic farmers to benefit financially.  

Hashish, marijuana drinks, and CBD products aren’t legal whatsoever and personal cultivation is considered quite a serious crime. So, it’s best to obtain a card if you plan on moving to Denmark as the country provides a couple exceptions to the Cancer/MS Rule.  

Ultimately, we here at Leafbuyer want people visiting the gorgeous nation of Denmark to respect local laws because the punishments can be quite severe for tourists. However, Leafbuyer is proud that Denmark is getting close to expanding medical marijuana for other various ailments in 2018. It’s our belief that a worldwide effort to legalize either recreational or medicinal marijuana for individuals with serious conditions will help combat the opioid epidemic across the globe. In time, marijuana has the capacity to combat Big Pharma’s grip on prescription drugs, which may prevent a lot of pain and suffering due to opioid addiction.  

 

Article by: Jason Newell

Categories
Consumption, Decriminalization, Enforcement, Government, Guides, International, International Marijuana, Legalization, Marijuana Ban, Marijuana Law
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