Monday, April 15, 2024

Sweden And Marijuana

Sweden is in the news again. But digging deeper, is just a frosty nanny state?

Sweden is home to the Northern Lights, Abba, incredible nature and wildlife, cold winters and cool classic design. IKEA, Ericsson and Volvo are among the global companies who started in Sweden. It is a democracy with a parliament and a ceremonial monarch (who are related to the British Royal Family).  But it is also a nanny state?  The country is rough on alcohol and even rougher on cannabis. In today’s world, it is a bit of a surprised Sweden and marijuana aren’t a good match.

Related: California or New York, Which Has The Biggest Marijuana Mess

The traditional toast of skål is also a call of good cheer, but drinking in Sweden takes a bit of an effort. Sweden has a long and complicated history with alcohol, from problems with everyone always being slightly drunk to today’s intense state control. Sweden has created a national alcohol monopoly, removing the right of private businesses and citizens to produce and sell alcohol. This has lead to very high prices which has lead to systematic changes in how the population drinks.

Not surprisingly, Sweden is very anti marijuana legalization, they do not even have a medical marijuana program. Cannabis is illegal in Sweden, which the government strictly enforces. This includes all personal use or possession, both of which are considered criminal offenses. While there are very slim exception for medical, the government takes a very negative stance on any cannabis.

In the United States and Canada, over 85% of the population are pro some form of marijuana legalization, in the EU, the number is slightly around 55%. In Sweden, the government has supported a long campaign it is a dangerous drug and can ruin your life.

In a country which has waged a long campaign against drinking, hoping for a change in marijuana remains small. While not at the bottom, Sweden has a lower than European average of alcohol consumption.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

The Stockholm Medical Cannabis Conference took place in 2022. The patient advocacy group Aureum Life bravely facilitated the event, inviting the Swedish press to cover the conference. With over 300 attendees, co-founder and CEO Angelica Örnell was hopeful. “We are proud to have organized the first medical cannabis conference in Sweden,” she said. “It’s one step forward in informing the public and healthcare professionals about the many benefits of cannabis as medicine.”

The government definitely has a nanny feel when it comes to intoxicants. But, there is some hope on bringing at least science based medical information to the public.

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