Two-thirds of Czechs (66%) agree that possessing and growing cannabis should not be a crime. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, Dec 7 (CTK) – Most Czech citizens believe that the current legislation on the possession and growing of cannabis should be less strict, according to a survey conducted by Behavio for the Charter 420 civic initiative, which campaigns for the introduction of a regulated cannabis market.

National anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril has promoted a strictly regulated cannabis market. He says the state would receive tax revenue from this market which could be used for prevention and treatment of addiction.

The survey showed that two-thirds of Czechs (66%) agree that possessing and growing cannabis should not be a crime. Three-quarters of respondents (76%) supported regulated hemp sales to adults.

64% said that the current legislation concerning cannabis should be more liberal, 3% said it should be stricter, and the remainder would keep it unchanged.

A majority (64%) would like to introduce a register of cannabis users.

59% would let people grow and keep marijuana for medical purposes, 40% would allow it for cosmetic applications and 22% for recreational purposes.

The authors of the survey said supporters of a more liberal approach were more likely to be voters of the government parties (the Pirates and SPOLU), younger people, and people with higher education, but that this support is mostly cautiously positive.

45% of respondents had personal experience with marijuana, and they were more likely to support a more permissive stance than the others.

One in six respondents considered cannabis users a threat, especially among those over 65.

Nearly four-fifths of respondents associated cannabis with its medical effects.

By next March, Voboril is due to present a draft bill under which marijuana could be bought in the Czech Republic under strict conditions.

At present, medical cannabis can be grown in the Czech Republic with a licence. Some doctors may prescribe cannabis to patients with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, cancer or AIDS. Growing more than five cannabis plants for personal use is a civic offence, while up to five plants is permitted by law.

“Czech legislation is not keeping pace with the current development in society. We believe that MPs will hear the opinion of a majority of Czech citizens and vote in support of the planned legislative changes,” said Charter 420 spokesman Jakub Hussar.

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