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Published on 7 October 2007  by encod

DENMARK

LEGAL STATUS OF CANNABIS IN DENMARK



All the versions of this article: [English]





1. Consumption and possession

Cannabis, that is except for marinol and that must be doctor-prescribed, is prohibited in DK. Getting caught smoking a joint will cost you a fine from 500 Danish kroner and up, according to your income.

2. Cultivation

If you grow your own "stone", it will considered being a worse crime than only possession. You will probably get a hard time trying to convince the judge that you are only growing your own. "We" don´t have a minimum amount, that is so small that you will be freed from the hook. Growing your own is hard criminality.

3. Distribution

The same factor applies here, dealing and trafficking will be punished as severely as the Danish laws allow. Up to 12 years imprisonment, if the judge can be convinced that you are a professional criminal. DK no longer makes destinctions between hard and soft drugs.

4. Provision of seeds, tools to produce and consume cannabis etc.

The distribution of potent hempseed is illegal in Denmark, if tools are confiscated during a "bust" they will of course ad to troubles of the busted. Pipes and paraphernalia are legal if you are not caught redhanded using the "stuff".

5. Production and distribution of hemp products

Is legal in Denmark, but the amount of red tape et al has drasticly reduced the number of growers/ manufacturers/inovators in this field in DK.

Amounts

In case of first offence with Cannabis the offender is fined on the spot if the quantity of the drug does not exceed 10 g, if more, the offender is fined. In case of second offence: from 0 to 10 g 40 EUR fine, from 10 to 15 g 67 EUR fine, from 50 to 100 g 135 EUR fine. Limits of small amounts in other drugs: 0,2 g Heroin, 0,2 g Cocaine, 0,5 g Amphetamine, 2 Ecstasy pills - the offender gets a police warning. Limits of large amount: 0,2 to 5 g Heroin, 0,5 g to 5 g Amphetamine, 2 to 10 Ecstasy pills - the offender is fined.If the amount exceeds this limits, the offender can face imprisonment.

Contact for Cannabis Activism in Denmark: http://www.benneke.dk/
http://www.hampepartiet.dk/

POLICIES ON OTHER DRUGS

Traditionally, drug policies in Denmark have been similar to those of its hard-line prohibitionist Scandinavian neighbours, with some remarkable exceptions, such as the existence of the small ‘Christiania Freetown’ in Copenhagen, where distribution and consumption of cannabis was more or less tolerated between 1973 and 2004.

The concept of harm reduction as a guiding principle in drug policy has been growing, as Denmark slides away from its historical ties with the Northern part of Europe and into a gradual integration with the Central part.

The basis for drug policy is a law from 1955, which has had its last revision in 1982. Drug consumption is not prohibited, but possession of drugs is considered as an offence punishable with fines and imprisonment. In reality, police and legal authorities have a considerable amount of freedom to explore the margins of this law. Besides, drug policy is decentralised to some extent. The country is divided in 16 different regions (Amter), which show different realities concerning the availability of harm reduction programmes (needle exchange exists in only 8 of them).

Officially, the line of the government continues to be a drug-free society as a model. However, cannabis is quite integrated in Danish society - 30% of the population of over 18 years has tried it at least once, according to a Gallup research in July 2001. This continues to be the case even after the current government decided to close the open air cannabis market in Christiania in the centre of Copenhagen, in March 2004. The closure formed part of a broader policy to convert Christiania into a mainstream commercial area.

Danish society seems to be rather supportive of the philosophy of harm reduction and is willing to go far. Gallup polls show that 67% of the population is in favour of controlled heroin distribution. Many lawyers, doctors and scientists have spoken out in favour of a heroin trial programme, which is one of the subjects studied by a parliamentary working group that published its findings in January 2002. For years, there have been talks going on concerning a Danish heroin trial and consumer rooms. The empowerment of users’ organisations is remarkable.

However, Danish politicians are not expected to be taking reform initiatives soon. Debates on a true revision of drug legislation have been postponed once and again.

CONTACT FOR DRUG POLICY ACTIVISM: BRUGERFORENINGEN

READ ALSO: NATIONAL COUNTRY REPORT TO EMCDDA ON 2009





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The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies, is a pan-European network of currently 150 NGO’s and individual experts involved in the drug issue on a daily base. We are the European section of an International Coalition, which consists of more than 400 NGOs from around the world that have adhered to a Manifesto for Just and Effective Drug Policies (established in 1998). Among our members are organisations of cannabis and other drug users, of health workers, researchers, grassroot activists as well as companies.


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