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Voters In Slovenia Approve Marijuana Ballot Measures



Voters in Slovenia approved a pair of cannabis-related ballot measures over the weekend, one on whether medical marijuana patients should be able to cultivate the plant for personal use and the other on whether all adults should be able to legally grow and possess marijuana.

The sale and use of medical cannabis is already legal in the country, but cultivation remains prohibited.

The two marijuana questions appeared on the ballot in Sunday’s election alongside other referendum questions on medically assisted dying and a proposed change to the country’s general elections process.

The first question—”Should the Republic of Slovenia allow the cultivation and processing of cannabis for medical purposes on its territory?”—passed 67 percent to 33 percent.

The second—”Should the Republic of Slovenia allow the cultivation and possession of cannabis for limited personal use on its territory?”—was approved by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent.

The outcomes are advisory and not binding on lawmakers. Nevertheless, they could influence future legislation and contribute to the growing push for reform in the country.

Slovenia’s National Assembly voted to put the questions on the ballot in April. The country’s National Institute of Public Health had taken a position against the cannabis proposals.

The votes are among the latest examples of a push for marijuana reform making its way through Europe. About two months ago, another country in the region, Germany, began implementing a cannabis legalization law.

In Slovenia’s neighboring Italy, meanwhile, voters were deprived of the opportunity to decide on marijuana and psychedelics policy reform in 2022 following a ruling from the country’s top court. But support has been building for a narrower, cannabis-only measure that would allow the home cultivation of four plants, the eventual creation of social clubs and the elimination of penalties for consumers.

Malta became the first European country to enact marijuana legalization, with the president signing a reform bill in 2021.

A novel international survey released in 2022 found majority support for legalization in several key European countries. Slovenia was not included in that poll, however.

The United Nations’s (UN) drug control body recently reiterated that it considers legalizing marijuana for non-medical or scientific purposes a violation of international treaties, though it also said it appreciates that Germany’s government scaled back its cannabis plan ahead of the recent vote.

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Ben Adlin, a senior editor at Marijuana Moment, has been covering cannabis and other drug policy issues professionally since 2011. He was previously a senior news editor at Leafly, an associate editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He lives in Washington State.


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