The current initiative started last October, with the goal of a recreational legalization in Finland, complete with an adult-use market. This initiative also needed to gain 50,000 signatures, which it did at the end of April, requiring parliament to consider the case. The current initiative, should it make it through parliament, would legalize the use, possession, manufacture, and sale of cannabis in the country, as well as allow for personal cultivation.
According to the wording of the initiative, these are some of the key points:
- The aforementioned legalization for use, possession, subsistence farming, manufacture, and sale of cannabis, with age restrictions attached.
- The need for a regulatory system for the commercial cannabis market; with a goal of reducing harm to both individuals and society.
- The inclusion of a cannabis tax to compensate for societal harms.
- The need for a clearer distinction between low-THC cannabis and high-THC cannabis, so there is no confusion for farmers.
- The expungement of criminal records for minor sale and cultivation crimes.
The initiative makes this statement: “This initiative provides a comprehensive justification for why Finland, too, should replace the Cannabis Prohibition Act with regulation. The regulation of intoxicants must be based on researched information. The Prohibition Act did not bring us a cannabis-free world. Regulation does not bring us a harm-free world of cannabis either, but it can minimize the harm and compensate for the costs.”
This initiative was helped in part by Green Party member Coel Thomas. Currently, the Green Party is the only political party in Finland to openly support cannabis reform. Thomas helped write the initiative; though his own thoughts are that it likely won’t get adopted now; and works more to continue building the case for legalization. Said Thomas of the initiative to Cannabis Health News:
“It seems likely that we will have a right-wing conservative government coming in, but even under a center-right or center-left government, it’s not likely that we could advance legalization. I don’t see how it could get a majority of votes. However, we are starting a conversation in Finland right now, that in my opinion, will most likely lead to the legalization and regulation of cannabis this decade.”
In terms of where the people in the country stand on the topic, a recent survey from the Institute for Health and Welfare, which yle reported on last month, showed a change in attitude toward cannabis for the Finnish people. According to the survey, 57% saw binge drinking as more dangerous than cannabis use, while 53% said personal use shouldn’t be considered a crime.
Read more at