Akel’s youth wing has blasted a proposal to legalise cannabis in Cyprus for medical and industrial hemp use, describing the suggestion as irresponsible and dangerous.
Edon said Green party MP George Perdikis’ proposal for a feasibility study into the therapeutic uses of the narcotic will only serve to corrupt society by increasing cannabis use on the island.
“Unfortunately we are concerned that this discussion over the various uses of cannabis in medicine is being used to pave the way for the drug’s legalisation and general use,” said an Edon statement.
“It is a ploy to turn the government into a supplier of narcotic substances and one which we have seen used in many other countries,” it added.
The youth organisation went on to claim that many member states, which have already decriminalised the narcotic, are now unable to contain its use and are being forced to rethink the move.
In his proposal Perdikis called on the ministers of Justice and Health to present to the House details on the medical and industrial cannabis industries in other EU countries before the matter is tabled before parliament for discussion.
The green party politician has also requested a feasibility study into state controlled cannabis production in these industries which he said could have huge economic benefits for Cyprus.
“It is well known that cannabis can be used to produce medicines and cosmetics as well as fibres for clothing. It is also a fact that the weather conditions in Cyprus are ideal for the cultivation of cannabis plants,” said Perdikis.
The Greens also want experts to present lawmakers with studies into how the legalisation of cannabis in other countries has affected general drug use and addiction before the matter is further discussed.
Despite the MP emphasising that any move to decriminalise cannabis should be accompanied by strict government control, Edon says any talk of legalising the plant, for whatever purpose, will create a surge in use.
It also went so far as to call supporters of the proposal drug pushers.
“All those who support the legalisation of cannabis and other drugs are nothing more than merchants of death seeking to harm the young people in society who already face serious problems such as poverty and unemployment.”
The suggestion to use the drug in medicine and industry was, however, welcomed by non-governmental anti-drugs organisation Kenthea, despite it warning against using the narcotic recreationally.
“We will not object to the cannabis uses mentioned especially where the European Union of which Cyprus is a member already promotes them.”
Romania last week became the tenth member state to legalise medical cannabis. The Czech Republic, France and the Netherlands are among the other EU countries that have legalised the use of therapeutic cannabis products.
Switzerland relaxed its laws governing cannabis use by decriminalising the drug. While cannabis is still not legal, Swiss authorities will not prosecute anyone caught with 10 grams or less.