Sweden and marijuana

Sweden is in the news again. But when you look closer, is it just a chilly nanny state?

Sweden is home to the Northern Lights, Abba, incredible nature and wildlife, cold winter and cool classic design. IKEA, Ericsson and Volvo are among the global companies founded in Sweden. It is a democracy with a parliament and a ceremonial monarch (who are related to the British royal family). But it's also a nanny state? The country is strict about alcohol and even stricter about cannabis. In today's world, one is a little surprised that Sweden and marijuana don't mix well.

Related: California or New York, where there's the biggest marijuana mess

The traditional toast “Skål” is also a sign of good mood, but in Sweden drinking is a bit strenuous. Sweden has a long and complicated history with alcohol, from problems where everyone was constantly slightly drunk to today's strict government control. Sweden created a national alcohol monopoly and deprived private companies and citizens of the right to produce and sell alcohol. This has led to very high prices, which has led to systematic changes in the population's drinking behavior.

Unsurprisingly, Sweden is very opposed to the legalization of marijuana; there is not even a medical marijuana program. Cannabis is illegal in Sweden and is strictly enforced by the government. This includes any personal use or possession, both of which are considered criminal offenses. While there are very few exceptions for medical purposes, the government has a very negative stance on cannabis.

In the United States and Canada, over 85% of the population is in favor of some form of marijuana legalization, while in the EU the figure is just under 55%. In Sweden the government has supported a long campaign. It is a dangerous drug that can ruin lives.

In a country that has waged a long campaign against alcohol consumption, hope for change on marijuana is slim. Sweden is not at the bottom, but has a lower alcohol consumption than the European average.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life

The Stockholm Medical Cannabis Conference took place in 2022. The patient advocacy group Aureum Life bravely moderated the event and invited the Swedish press to cover the conference. Given the over 300 participants, co-founder and CEO Angelica Örnell was hopeful. “We are proud to have organized the first medical cannabis conference in Sweden,” she said. “It is a step forward in educating the public and medical professionals about the many benefits of cannabis as medicine.”

The government definitely has a nanny attitude when it comes to intoxicants. However, there is hope for at least making scientifically based medical information available to the public.

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