In Austria, the government is continuing to throw good money at their failed war against cannabis. The Hanf Institut in Vienna estimates that the country “spends about €400 million on the persecution of some 29,000 people who commit crimes without a victim,” citing figures from the Austrian federal police.
“On average, one indictment costs €15,000, while the confiscated amount is less than 40 grams,” the institute reported. “This is the equivalent of about 100 joints—with a market value of about €320.”
A better solution may be legalization in lieu of increased law enforcement costs. It is estimated that Austria is losing out on €600 million in tax revenue from cannabis production and sales. Those figures are also based on the amount of cannabis seized by the police, so the number is undoubtedly much higher when you factor in those who haven’t been caught or those who would partake in a legal product.
In Austria, which has a population of 8.5 million, the government is also throwing money behind the failed war against cannabis, even though cannabis cuttings and other non-flowering plants are actually legal in the country. But as in the rest of the European Union, cannabis from adult plants that are high in THC are prohibited for non-medical use.
The Vienna-based Hanf Institut (Hemp Institute) calculated that the small Alpine republic “spends about €400 million on the persecution of some 29,000 people who commit crimes without a victim,” citing figures from the Austrian federal police.
“On average, one indictment costs €15,000, while the confiscated amount is less than 40 grams,” the institute reported. “This is the equivalent of about 100 joints — with a market value of about €320.”
Costs will almost inevitably rise this year, as the June 1 intensification of the Narcotic Substances Act has spurred intensive police actions against street sales, particularly in Vienna and other major cities.
Legalization would do more than forego enforcement costs. The Vienna Hemp Institute calculated how much potential tax revenue the Austrian state is missing out on by maintaining a prohibitionist policy and found it amounted to an annual loss of about €600 million — and that’s based only on the amount of cannabis confiscated by the police, which is only a fraction of the market.
Encod bereitet seine Teilnahme am Jahrestreffen der Suchtstoffkommission der Vereinten Nationen in Wien vom 9. bis 17. März vor. Die Encod-Delegation (Alberto Sciolari – Italien, Andrej Kurnik – Slowenien, Derrick Bergman – Niederlande, Enrico Fletzer – Italien, Maja Kohek – Slowenien und Toni Straka – Österreich) richtet zwei Veranstaltungen am Rand des Treffens aus: eine Veranstaltung zum Thema Stigmatisierung von Drogenkonsumenten und eine über den medizinischen Nutzen von natürlichem Cannabis.
A huge leap forward in Austria: ‘Neos’ party votes for legalization of cannabis (thestonedsociety.com)
Austrian parliamentary citizens initiative for cannabis legalisation becomes 3rd most successful in history (idpc.net)
Austrian Parliamentary Citizens Initiative for Cannabis Legalization Becomes 3rd Most Successful in Histor (clear.org.uk)
Austrian Parliamentary Citizens Initiative for Cannabis Legalization Becomes 3rd Most Successful in History (thestonedsociety.com)
Austria’s Hemp Institute just launched a parliamentary initiative to legalize cannabis, and major Swiss cities like Geneva, Basel and Bern are backing an initiative to regularize the use of marijuana through users‘ associations.
Austrian Activists start Parliamentary Initiative to Legalize Cannabis [Hanf Institute] (nimbinhemp.com)