Law Review International Journal of Law and Jurisprudence Open Source Online Publication Edited by the Union of Jurists of Romania and Universul Juridic Publishing House e-ISSN 2246-9435
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Ovidiu-Horia MAICAN


Since 1990, the aim of legislation has been to shorten or to eliminate prison penalties for minor cannabis possession offences. Primarily, legislative changes were applied to the caliber of penalty to ascertain that the sentences were consistent, their astringency corresponded with the health risks associated with different drugs, and to ascertain that rehabilitation (treatment) was given precedence ahead of penalization. No EU member state has removed all penalties nor have they made the supply of cannabis licit. More recently, decriminalisation or legalisation of recreational cannabis use is being debated among a number of EU member states.

There is no uniform approach to targeting cannabis offences. In fact, considerable disparities were illustrated in how countries discern laws and penalties for cannabis sale or use. For legislative purposes, EU member states either treat all drugs identically, or view cannabis offences not so dangerous, or in some cases more astringent penalties are applied.

Since 2000 aproximately 50% of EU member states altered legislation that targeted cannabis use. The impact on cannabis use is obscure, as no rigorous scientific evaluations were carried out to determine the efficacy of the legislative changes.