Austrian Activists start Parliamentary Initiative to Legalize Cannabis

Vienna, August 6, 2014 – Austrian cannabis activists have started a parliamentary initiative to legalize cannabis in Austria on Wednesday. Initiated by „Legalize! Oesterreich“ and supported by the Hemp Institute, Austrian voters can now sign an online initiative on the website of the Austrian parliament which is obliged to discuss the matter.

In the first six hours it collected more than 1,000 signatures and the initiators hope that a significant number of the one million cannabis consumers and patients – that is 1 in 8 Austrians – will put their weight behind this movement which seeks to exclude cannabis from Austrian drug laws.

According to the text of the initiative, Austrians over 16 years shall become eligible to possess 10 grams of cannabis legally. They shall also be allowed to cultivate their own plants and produce up to 500 grams annually.
Commercial producers of bigger amounts shall be required to register with the state and pay a tax of €1.- per gram for low to medium quality cannabis and €2 for plants with a THCa content above 20%.
Distribution and sales will be in the hands of tobacconists, pharmacies and other sellers with a state license.
The initiative also wants to establish a legal limit of 10 nanograms THC per millilitre blood for cannabis consumers operating a vehicle.

Excluding cannabis from Austrian drug laws would also result in budgetary savings to the tune of €100 million per year and free police capacities for more pressing issues, the activists said.

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