On June 10, five Danish political parties published a joint statement in Politiken, a local newspaper, calling for the legalization of cannabis in the country. The lawmakers say that legalization is better than continuing to allow crime syndicates to sell cannabis on the streets.
Christiania is Copenhagen’s tolerant zone that has allowed the open sale of hashish and cannabis for decades, but recent crackdowns have put the neighborhood’s future in jeopardy. “Pusher Street” is the unofficial name for Christiania’s open hash market, which has been tolerated even though recreational cannabis has been illegal since 1955.
Now, lawmakers want a more final solution to the way cannabis is treated in Denmark. The parties the signed the statement including the Alternative party, the Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Socialist People’s Party, the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party and Liberal Alliance.
Torsten Gejl is spokesperson with Denmark’s Alternative party. “The problem with the current ban is that there’s no age limit for buying cannabis. Nobody knows what’s in the cannabis that criminal groups are selling, and biker gangs and other gangs are making billions from it,” Gejl told The Local. “The current ban means that use and sale of cannabis is completely out of control in Denmark.”
The Social Liberal party proposed allowing recreational cannabis in Denmark for a period of three years, to see how it affects society. The Alternative party suggested having pharmacies as the official point-of-sale for cannabis purchases.
The Danish Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research has joined the conversation as well and joined the five parties during their discussion on June 11. The organizations say that instead of cracking down on illegal cannabis sales, Denmark officials should put them out of business by offering lower prices under a regulated system.