“Citizen’s Initiative” Seeks to Legalize Marijuana Across the European Union

bubonic chronic off menuwhatsupwithamsterdam.comEuropean citizens of voting age can submit “citizen’s initiatives” that, if they clear a million signatures, require EU lawmakers to propose legislation.  The initiatives need a minimum number of signatures from at least seven different EU countries, they have to be formed by groups of at least seven European citizens, each from a different member state, and, unsurprisingly for Europe, organizations of individuals can’t launch initiatives on their own.

Last November, the EU accepted the “Weed Like to Talk Initiative,” which seeks to legalize (and regulate!) marijuana in Europe. Last week, the initiative’s backers started collecting signatures. Via their “manifesto”:

Liberticidal policies pursued in certain Member States turn quiet citizens into offenders or criminals, while other European citizens are free to use cannabis in their Member States. The question of coherence and discrimination is worth asking.

The ECI Weed like to talk aims at making the EU solve this problem by adopting a common policy on the control and regulation of cannabis production, use and sale.

Cannabis use is a matter of every citizen’s freedom of opinion and right of control over his or her own body, as in the case of alcohol and tobacco. It has been shown many times that the health risks of cannabis are much lower than that of legal drugs used for recreational purposes (alcohol, tobacco) and medical purposes (pain killers, psychoactive medication). Yet cannabis is still considered as a narcotic drug and therefore a “punishable offence” by the United Nations (2), although this classification is more and more disputed (3).

Drug trafficking is in no way the cause, but rather the result, of repressive State policies: the troubles it brings are the logical consequences of drug prohibition, not of an intrinsic “evil” character of cannabis.

Emphasis is in the original. While the “marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol” may be groan-worthy for those worried about the desire of statists to impose even more restrictions on alcohol consumption, I am partial to the word “liberticidal,” which it never occurred to me was a word that existed.

No country in the European Union has completely legalized marijuana, the way Colorado, Washington, or Uruguay have, though a handful have decriminalized it. Portugal did so for marijuana and harder drugs more than a decade ago, leading to a plunge in drug use in the country. The Netherlands has sort-of legalized marijuana, but still has a “drugs are bad” attitude even if the government’s decided largely to look the other way.

The “Weed Like to Talk” initiative has a year to collect the million signatures it needs to compel EU lawmakers to act, making it a harder task than a White House “We the People” petition but also apparently a far more substantive one.

UPDATE: Commentor KarlUrban provides a link to see how many signatures have been collected so far, by country.

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  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Weed Like to Talk

    How droll.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I like it, but I can't imagine it translates well into most European gutter-languages.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Gutter languages isn't far off from the truth. Get some more words, Romance (Vulgar) languages.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Federalism isn't here, man.

  • ||

    Weed may not be legal in Europe, but they seem to be way less aggressive in prosecuting and pursuing it. To the point where I knew multiple people who were growing big-ass pot plants on their porch/verandas in Spain, without the slightest worry that they could get busted.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't like it. It sounds to me like authorities lulling everyone into a false sense of security. Like assurances here that enforcement of certain laws won't be a priority, or laws left on the books that no one knows about until some industrious prosecutor needs something to charge someone with.

  • Almanian!||

    You know who else tried to lull Europeans into a false sense of security...

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Neville Chamberlin?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Bruno?

  • silent v||

    Bobby McFarrin?

  • KarlUrban||

    It is actually legal (as far as I understand) to grow up to 3 plants of your own in Spain. It is also legal to have a small amount of cannabis on your person, for personal use. I guess it is decriminalized in some ways.

  • Dead or In Jail||

    Years ago I was walking through Paris at night during the fête de la musique while passing a hash cigarette back and forth with a friend.

    It was only years later that I learned that France actually has relatively strict laws against weed, at leas on the European scale.

    I never would've tried that in the US (even San Francisco at the time - 2002) but as I understand it you could do stuff like that, say, in early '80s NYC without too much trouble.

  • SugarFree||

    C'mon, Europe. Really stick it to those redneck Bushians in the United States of Amerikkka! Legalize weed and let the gun-loving retard neoliberal austerity God-humpers really have it!

  • Almanian!||

    Tally ho!

  • Hugh Akston||

    If they really want to piss off the Bushwacked warpig neo-imperialist racist American yankees, they'd force us to close all of our military bases in Europe. Boy that would sure show us.

  • SugarFree||

    Like a thousand pies hitting us in the face every second for an entire year.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    What exactly are the *health* risks of these psychoactive medications, and which ones are they referencing?

  • Almanian!||

    by adopting a common sense policy on the control and regulation

    This will get the Obamaites' support. Welcome, Euros.

  • Raston Bot||

    http://www.ahaparenting.com/De.....jectType=1

    10 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Child

    #1 is, no shit, "Model compassionate, respectful relationships from the time your child is small." And it gets worse from there.

  • Jaybirdmojo||

    You'd think that they'd teach the kids to say "Take On Me".

  • Outlaw||

    I feel like they should offer male counterpoints to this crap. I'll take a stab at it:

    1. Punch the bully in the face. Repeat as many times as necessary.

    Fin.

  • Outlaw||

    But yes, this lady obviously doesn't understand much about boys or prison behavior. All of her advice is terrible.

    I tell people to think of school like prison, because the kids are forced to go and are stuck with each other most of the day, several weeks out of the year.

    The stakes are obviously higher in prison, but like prison, if someone fucks with you, you can't let it go unanswered or you're gonna have a really bad time.

    Even fighting and losing is better than doing nothing or acting like a servile little twit.

  • Raston Bot||

    That list vexxed me terribly but I just had a breakthrough. The people who write such a list consider words as the pinnacle of bullying. I'm not sure they even consider the possibility of physical assault. It's just not real to them so it's not something you need to prepare for.

  • Outlaw||

    No, she covered that.

    4. Directly teach your child respectful self-assertion. Kids need to know they can get their needs met while being respectful of other people. Give him words to stick up for himself early on:

    "It's my turn now."

    "I want a turn now."

    "Hey, stop that."

    "Hands off my body."

    "It's not okay to hurt."

    6. Teach your child basic bully avoidance. Bullies operate where adults aren't present, so your child should avoid unsupervised hallways, bathrooms, and areas of the playground. Sitting in the front of the school bus, standing in the front of the line, and sitting at a lunch table near the cafeteria chaperones are all good strategies for bully avoidance.

  • Raston Bot||

    A bully would probably laugh their arse off if the kid yelled, "It's not okay to hurt" while receiving an atomic wedgie.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    standing in the front of the line, and sitting at a lunch table near the cafeteria chaperones are all good strategies for bully avoidance.

    So teach your kid to run and hide? There's a life-lesson. Being scared is okay.

    We. Are. Fucking. Doomed.

  • Outlaw||

    The whole thing is designed to teach them to rely solely on authority figures for protection.

    If they follow that advice they will grow up into servile little pansies who rely completely on the state, get abused by criminals (both traditional and uniformed) and ineffectually mewl about their harsh treatment.

    We already see this in articles posted on here from time to time.

    Remember the article on the guy who got roughed up and thrown in jail by the SFPD? Mr. Helpful Hipster got a harsh dose of reality at the hands of those uniformed thugs.

    Smart people these days realize that you can only count on yourself, maybe your family, and maybe some close friends.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I probably have a slightly different opinion on this. Not that I condone assault, but I happen to think kids getting bullied is, to a certain degree, good for them. It teaches them to deal with adversity.

    My biggest issue is the definition. If bullying means your kid getting beaten up everyday, then sure, I'm obviously against your kid being assaulted. But if it's just him getting teased or picked on, suck it up and learn to cope. Of course, the nannies will have you believe the two are one in the same.

    You deal with bullies by standing up for yourself. This has always been the case and is a life-lesson. Now, mommy or your teacher stands up for you. Result...

    Pussies.

  • Raston Bot||

    #10 on that list is to intervene which, as you've shown, is the worst advice.

  • KarlUrban||

    Even though the individual countries within the union might refuse the EU to meddle with their internal affairs, I do believe that if this initiative becomes successful and receives all of the needed votes, politicians will certainly notice. It will create an international debate. It will show that there are a lot of people out there who are for a legalization of (at least) cannabis.

    The below link shows the current number of votes in each country. Surprisingly, Poland is in the lead with 47% of their threshold!

    http://tinyurl.com/mzwubyq

  • Cytotoxic||

  • Paul.||

    No country in the European Union has completely legalized marijuana, the way Colorado, Washington,

    And hopefully they won't. If they do it properly, it'll be legal with very few regulations, restrictions, price controls, supply and production controls and caps and hopefully done with relatively low taxation.

  • Dead or In Jail||

    Let me just add this.

    I've come to believe that California has the very best system.

    You have to pay what is essentially a one-time "tax" to a "doctor" for your recommendation against your disease.

    No patients' registry.

    Buy your pot at any one of the many, many, available outlets.

    Finally, the laxity of the medical system makes a complete mockery of the stated mechanism of the law which encourages a profoundly healthy skepticism of official explanations.

  • prolefeed||

    No country in the European Union has completely legalized marijuana, the way Colorado, Washington, or Uruguay have

    "completely" doesn't mean what you think it does. Lot of caveats in the CO and WA laws.

  • soflarider||

    And there's the issue of what to do with the proceeds of your legal business since the banks won't take your money.

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