Weed in Turkey
If you think European countries are open to cannabis, exclude Turkey from this list. Ok, technically Turkey is mostly in Asia, but still. Using, owning, receiving or buying weeds in Turkey can result in a 2-5 year prison sentence if it is for personal use only. Prison time varies a lot, but the end result is: In Turkey, possession of weeds is considered a crime.
Legalizing cannabis for recreational use in Turkey may be a far-fetched idea for now, but hopefully it will change in the years to come. President Erdogan has certainly expressed his support for cannabis lately.
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Weed laws in Turkey
The possession of drugs for personal use is regulated in Turkish laws. It is prescribed in three separate articles, namely:
Article 188 (manufacture and trade in narcotics) Article 190 (facilitate the use of narcotic drugs) Article 191 (purchase, receipt or possession of narcotic drugs for personal use)
According to Article 188, anyone who manufactures, imports or exports narcotics or psychotropic drugs can serve between twenty and thirty years in prison. People who sell or just offer to sell have to be behind bars for at least 10 years.
Under Article 190, anyone who facilitates the use of narcotics or psychotropic drugs, such as: B. providing equipment or advice on use, sentenced to 5 to 10 years. Now I’m not a lawyer, but it sounds like giving a friend a bong or telling them how to use one would fall under that category.
Under Article 191, the use, possession, purchase or receipt of cannabis results in a prison sentence of 2 to 5 years.
There are no excuses if you are caught in the act and there are no exceptions to the law. also for tourists. In other European countries, they may be a little forgiving to tourists because they don’t know the local regulations. In Turkey, however, ignorance of the law is not seen as a good excuse.
Turkey has a tough stance on marijuana possession and use, but there is a way to make your sentence a little easier than if you are hit with criminal charges. The EMCDDA states that you can decide on rehabilitation or “treatment” before the exam. This trial period lasts at least one year.
Hemp production in Turkey
Hemp has been grown in the Middle East for centuries. It’s a staple food for them, with cultivation techniques dating back to 1500 BC. Can reach back. There was even a time when Turkey was the leading hemp producer in the world. But all of this suddenly took a turn when the US forcibly halted the production of cannabis and placed it under strict control and supervision in 1971.
The penalties in Turkey are much more severe than in other European countries due to their location. Turkey is a “gateway” from the Middle East to Europe and is surrounded by drug-producing nations. The government takes on much more liability if narcotics are illegally transported through this gate. That is one of the reasons why they are so strict with their laws and punishments.
However, over the years, cannabis has slowly crept back into legality. In 2016, the Turkish government legalized controlled hemp production. This means that the production of hemp is now allowed in 19 controlled provinces. The provinces are in alphabetical order:
Though 19 provinces sound like a lot, Turkey has a total of 81 provinces. With this, Turkey has once again joined the list of the world’s largest hemp producers for industrial purposes.
This new regulation allows farmers to grow cannabis after obtaining a license from the government. This license is valid for three years under the full government supervision. The cannabis produced in these “farms” is primarily intended for industrial use. Who knows, a government bud might slip under your nose from time to time.
Medical marijuana in Turkey
As one of the most industrially advanced countries in the region, we can at least assume that Turkey is heading towards the legalization of medical marijuana. Right, they started taking action at the end of 2016. Now patients in need of medical marijuana can have access to cannabis sprays, provided they have a prescription from their doctors.
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Cannabis as a drug is still heavily controlled by the state. Therefore, only authorized doctors are allowed to dispense medical cannabis products. You will only be able to access cannabis-based products if you have tried other treatments to no avail.
Although this was legalized back in 2016, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Turkey is still not as widespread as compared to its neighboring countries. But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says otherwise in an interview. He wants to revive the cannabis industry because he sees its potential.
Weed in the future in Turkey
As the people of Turkey become more forgiving of weeds, the chance of developing cannabis in this country is high. Turkish farmers are even encouraged to plant hemp for industrial use (although hemp is different, this is a step towards legalization). The future of cannabis in Turkey is bright and people are slowly accepting that it is not as bad as the other drugs it is categorized with. More and more people are seeing that the plant has several benefits.
CBD (cannabidiol) is in a legal gray area in Turkey. This means that due to the absence of any laws regarding CBD, CBD is neither legal nor illegal (or both). But when it comes to the medicinal uses of cannabis, the future is bright, although the plans are new.
When it comes to recreational cannabis use, most people don’t even turn an eye. Because of its geographic location – acting as a bridge between Europe and Asia – legalizing recreational cannabis use can be problematic.
On the plus side, President Erdogan’s initiative to bring the hemp industry back is one gigantic leap for the country. People are gradually realizing the economic importance of cannabis and realizing its potential. As we move towards globalization, the public’s perception of cannabis may also change.
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