Cannabis in Belgium
Marijuana use in Belgium is illegal. However, as in other European Union countries, using Cannabis in small quantities is permitted. Despite the fact that a large part of society is seeking marijuana use and cultivation decriminalisation in Belgium, there are still many voices against it.
In today's article here we will analyse Belgium's marijuana situation through some key points that you can find in the table of contents below.
Table of contents:
- Marijuana possession and Use in Belgium
- Marijuana growing in Belgium
- Sale of Marijuana in Belgium
- Cannabis Medicinal status in Belgium
- Cannabis fines
- Marijuana Seeds Shipments to Belgium
Possession and Use of Marijuana in Belgium
Cannabis possession and use is illegal in Belgium. However, there is one exception if you are carrying a small quantity of marijuana on public places. To this end, Belgium has a directive regulating the exact quantity that an individual may possess without suffering criminal consequences, exactly 3 grams maximum.
This directive also states that the use of cannabis is not a criminal offense, unless its use does lead to behavioral problems that could disturb public order.
This directive was presented in 2003, and it is only in 2005 that the government was taking a full position on determining the exact amount of Cannabis a person may carry without penalty in Belgium. From that moment the executive ruled that individuals may carry less than 3 grams of marijuana on Belgium public places.
Using Cannabis in the streets of Belgium could lead to fines and more. The public place where you consume Cannabis in Belgium is a key factor to determinate the penalty. For example, marijuana using close to schools or some public places is a crime against public health, which could lead to prison sentences and even fines ranging from 8,000 to 800,000 euros.
There are many voices that disagree with this last measure, as both politicians and citizens have shown their disagreement because is ambiguous law that can lead to confusion. Cities such as Antwerp have preferred to penalize any consumption of Cannabis in the street with fines which are issued on the spot and which consist of a sum of 75 euros.
Growing Marijuana in Belgium
Growing marijuana in Belgium is not as restricted as the use and possession of the same substance on public places. Thus, the Belgian legislative system allows an individual to grow a single marijuana plant at his home.
However, growers who have more than one plant would be in an illegal situation. This is why, despite the fact that Belgium has a slightly permissive legal framework, there is still a major restriction when growing 2 or more plants.
Marijuana sales in Belgium
As like use and possession, the marijuana sales in Belgium are completely prohibited. Penalties for anyone marketing Cannabis in this country may range from a financial fine to imprisonment, the latter being reserved for large quantities Cannabis sales.
There are some levels for marijuana sales punishments in Belgium. It begins with a first category, namely the sale and possession of Cannabis for personal use. In the second category are offenses for the sale of Cannabis committed with aggravating substances. And finally, there is a last category that encompasses all other drug trafficking offenses, including those that are not marijuana.
Belgium has a curious directive that legitimizes Cannabis sales to people with a demonstrable dependence. In the latter case, the prison sentences are lower or switched for financial penalty.
Cannabis Medicinal status in Belgium
Belgium has a more lax medical marijuana legal framework. Compared to other European Union countries where the use of this substance for medical purposes is not allowed, in 2015, the Belgian Minister of Health, Maggie de Block, signed a decree for the medical cannabis legalisation in this country.
This situation was not uncontroversial, but a favorable international panorama with the use of Cannabis for therapeutic purposes appeased those most opposed and today it is possible to use medicinal Cannabis in Belgium. The only negative aspect may be that there is only one product classified as a legal marijuana drug in Belgium, Sativex, the popular Cannabis Spray for MS patients.
Apparently it is easy to access medical cannabis prescriptions, but many advocates of legal medical cannabis are calling for a list of more available legal marijuana drugs. On the other hand, there are also many voices demanding growing regularization from more than one plant when therapeutic purposes can be proven.
By including new marijuana-based medicines in the medical landscape, Belgium could meet the needs of more patients with other diseases. Whether by alleviating the side effects or directly combating a disease, marijuana can help many patients.
Surprisingly, Cannabidiol (CBD) sale is illegal in Belgium. Many EU countries have much more lenient regulations in this respect, but in Belgium CBD dispensaries do not have the facilities that exist in other countries. However, many dispensaries operate within Belgium using legal loopholes.
As mentioned above, there are fines for use, possession, purchase or sale of marijuana. Depending on the history of the individual sanctioned, these penalties can range from 75 to 800,000 euros and in the case of the most serious penalties, these can go as far as prison sentences.
Among the sanctions we found for marijuana consumption in Belgium we find a fundamental aggravation. The Constitutional Court of this country approved in 2005 a directive in which it is stated that marijuana use near public spaces such as schools can be punished with fines ranging from 8,000 to 800,000 euros in the most serious cases.
The same decree states how individuals who carry more than 3 grams of marijuana on public roads or grow more than one Cannabis plant in their home can be prosecuted. In this case, fines can range from 1,000 to 100,000 euros. In the city of Antwerp, if the police find you using or carrying marijuana, whatever the amount, they can fine you 75€.
Marijuana Seeds Shipments to Belgium
The sale of marijuana seeds in Belgium is legal and so is the female Cannabis plant growing, but just 1.