Portugal Group Demands Freedom to Vote for Personal Use of Cannabis

Portugal Group Demands Freedom to Vote for Personal Use of Cannabis
High Times

For those watching the swing of European states into the pro cannabis column, the developments in Portugal have been a source of both optimism and frustration for the past several years. The production of cannabis for medical export purposes was initiated by Tilray as they looked for a country more open to cannabis cultivation than Germany in 2017. Since then, commercial cultivation and extraction has blossomed domestically. Indeed Portugal is now seen as one of the most important feeder countries for the German medical cannabis market. As a result of this as well as the general tolerance of cannabis in the country, the legislature was widely expected to introduce and pass formal recreational reform legislation late in 2021 or at the latest, by early this year. However, the issue stalled when the sitting government failed to pass the 2022 budget and a snap election was called for the end of January. The swearing in of the new Parliament was also delayed by a month and a half due to controversies that arose from the counting of overseas ballots. In such an environment, cannabis reform is not going to be the priority. European Cannabis Reform Is a Zeitgeist Topic However, those advocating for reform have not just gone away. Further, it appears that as of this summer, the prioritization of legalization has re-entered the political room. The Left Bloc party, one of the political groups that helped bring about the fall of the old government by voting against its budget, is renewing its calls for cannabis legalization—even if it is of the personal, home-grow variety. However, they also are expecting support from the ruling Socialist Party in going a bit further than this—namely the establishment of a formal industry. According to Left Bloc member Catarina Martins, “One year ago this week…

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