Sunday, 22 October 2017

Several thousands march in Prague to back legalisation of marijuana

ČTK |
9 May 2017

Prague, May 6 (CTK) - More than 7,000 people joined the march in support of legalising marijuana that crossed the centre of Prague this afternoon before reaching the Stvanice Island where the event continues with workshops and cultural programme, the organisers told CTK.

The demonstration, named Million Marihuana March, is the 20th annual event of its kind to be held in Prague.

The march included allegorical vehicles, dancers and musicians.

Some participants wore costumes, some carried banners with slogans promoting cannabis.

The organisers said the goal of the event is to highlight the persisting ban on marijuana and appeal on politicians to change the relevant legislation so that people can grow marijuana for personal use.

Although cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in the country since April 2013, at present it is unavailable due to disputes between the supplier and the State Drug Control Institute (SUKL). A new supplier is being sought now, the organisers said.

Nevertheless, marijuana remains banned, except for that designated for medical purposes. The law punishes the growing of marijuana and the possession of a bigger than small amount of it.

According to an annual report on the use of drugs in 2015, 30 percent of people aged from 15 to 64 have tried hemp substances.

About 10 percent of the adults surveyed said they took marijuana in the past year, and about three percent said they did so in the past month.

The number of marijuana users among young people under 34 is twice as high. Almost 20 percent of them took the drug in the past year and 7 percent in the past month, the survey showed.

Young Czechs rank among record frequent marijuana users, compared with their European peers, and they also more incline to underestimating the risks.

In the past years, the situation has been slightly improving, according to the authorities.

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