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Czech Republic: Seven charged with illegal production and sale of marijuana

Prague, Czech Republic – Seven people were charged earlier this week with illegal production and sale of marijuana, according to local media.

The seven Czech citizens charged with drug trafficking allegedly produced large quantities of marijuana at nearly a dozen different plantations in Moravia, including in the Vysočina and Moravian-Silesian regions, the Czech Republic’s eastern region, and managed to sell their products in 75 different countries.

The mischievous group had apparently been selling marijuana since 2012, using different methods of sale and distribution, including physical, post, couriers as well as providing their products on several e-market platforms, according to Czech police, who hinted to the high-quality of the marijuana.

In some cases, the marijuana was sold in exchange for virtual currencies, including Bitcoin (the Czech capital Prague was recently ranked as one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly city in the world).

The two main perpetrators, in charge of production and sales, could face up to 12 years in prison, while the other suspects could be jailed for 10 years. The whole group of accused is aged from 28 to 72 years old, according to reports.

During the arrest, Czech police, who cooperated with their Austrian counterparts on the case, seized 70 kg of cannabis, as well as 1.6 million Czech crowns in cash.

Cannabis and marijuana use for recreational purposes is illegal in the Czech Republic, but allowed for medical purposes on prescription from a doctor since 2013. Due to its considerable price, lack of availability in pharmacies and given the small number of doctors allowed to prescribe it, its use remains very marginal.

Last month, the Czech government said it was considering reimbursing medical marijuana to improve its access for patients in need.

Going one step further, the Czech Pirates Party, the third most important political force 2017, is working on a bill to liberalize the use and production of cannabis in the country: the law would allow people to grow up to 1.250 grams of dried cannabis at home.

The proposal allegedly won cross-partisan support, including lawmakers from TOP 09, Mayors and Independents (STAN), the Social Democrats (CSSD), the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the ruling ANO party.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.