The Estonian Greens Party welcomed the decision of its Finnish sister party to support the legalization of cannabis and expressed hope that the two states would coordinate steps in the future.
"Today, by banning cannabis, we feed crime and we only have a rough idea of who is using it, what and why. Our goal is to ensure that safe goods reach consumers through national regulation," Züleyxa Izmailova, co-leader of the Greens, said in a statement on Tuesday.
She said the Estonian Greens are in favor of regulating cannabis use instead of the current strict ban.
"In the case of state-regulated sales, cannabis will not be available to minors and taxes would be guaranteed. While the Center Party is creating new taxes to burden our fragile middle class even more, we are making it clear that we will end the cannabis black market and pick up money where it already exists today," Izmailova said.
The 2020 survey of the health behavior of the Estonian adult population revealed that cannabis use among younger adults has increased, the Greens said.
The study found 7.1 percent of respondents (10.2 percent of men and 5.0 percent of women) had used narcotics in the past 12 months.
The most commonly used substance is cannabis which had been used by 20.8 percent of men and 10.3 percent of women in the 16-24 age group in the last 30 days.
The results of a wastewater survey published by the Institute for Health Development in the spring of 2021 showed that cannabis is still one of the most widely used narcotic substances in Estonia; compared to 2019, the concentration of cannabis in wastewater had increased.
The General Assembly of the Finnish Green Party supported the legalization of cannabis on Sunday. The Greens became the first Finnish parliamentary party to support the legalization of cannabis.
Editor: Roberta Vaino