Possession, sale, transportation and cultivation of cannabis, including medical cannabis, are strictly prohibited in Sweden
Indeed, marijuana is very difficult to find in Sweden because the country has some of the toughest laws in Europe. The laws are very strict in relation to the possession, sale, transportation and cultivation of cannabis, including medical marijuana, except in a few and few exceptions.
If you travel to Sweden and want to buy some cannabis you will find it very difficult, unless you know some grower. But there are very few who dare to cultivate due to the harshness of the laws. In addition, the few people who dare to sell do not trust anyone and the prices are very high. And, of course, there is very little marijuana is the country.
However, in some cities the authorities consider that the consumption of cannabis in some streets and very discreet corners where people barely walk, is slightly acceptable. However, the reality is that cannabis is an absolutely illegal substance and that the police and legislators do not consider it a soft drug. For them, marijuana is the same as heroin or cocaine.
Policy of “disturbing and annoying”
The so-called “disturbing and annoying policy” is the model followed by the Swedish police and based on the policy of zero tolerance towards drugs by the government. According to this policy, the police have the right to detain any person they suspect uses drugs. Likewise, the police can stop you for being under the influence of cannabis. They do not need proof but only the suspicion that you are under the influence of cannabis or that you are a consumer to arrest you.
Never travel to Sweden with cannabis
You should never take marijuana to Sweden, no matter how small the amount, even if it is medical marijuana accompanied by a medical prescription. It is a very serious crime. And besides, both the customs officers and the dogs they use are very well trained. It is very likely that you will find the tiniest amount of cannabis and if this happens, the Swedish justice will punish you with the same rigor as if you were dealing with cocaine or heroin.
Marijuana penalty in Sweden
Under Swedish law, penalties for possession, sale, cultivation and transportation of small amounts of marijuana can range from a fine to a sentence of 6 months in prison. If the quantity possessed, cultivated or transported is not very small, the penalty is three years in prison. And if the amount is more important, such as a kilo of marijuana, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
The Swedish law penalizes consumers, with the exception of minors. Minors are also sometimes prosecuted but the tendency is to warn them if it is the first time.
Having such harsh laws, Sweden is the country with the lowest drug consumption in Europe.
What do the Swedes do to smoke marijuana?
The few Swedes who smoke marijuana usually catch a train or the ferry from Stockholm to Copenhagen (Denmark). Once in Copenhagen visitors go to the famous neighborhood of Christiana, a neighborhood taken by the hippie culture, and on Pusher Street they can already smoke and buy cannabis. The reality is that cannabis is also illegal in Denmark, but the police are very permissive in the so-called “hippie district”.
It is a very common scene to find thousands of Swedes who return from Christiana to Sweden on Sunday nights. But remember that you should never go back with marijuana. If you have something left over it is better to get rid of it than to try to cross the Swedish customs. Because, if they find you a minimum of cannabis, you will be committing a crime against the laws of the two countries.
And the transportation of any prohibited substance between Denmark and Sweden is a much more serious crime than possession in either of the two countries. Even if you are arrested with a very small amount of cannabis, you are most likely going to jail.
Medical marijuana in Sweden
Sweden is a country that does not recognize the medicinal value of cannabis. There are some countries that have diplomatic agreements with Sweden so that their citizens can travel to this country with medical marijuana. But the required bureaucracy is so great that it is a nightmare.
Medical marijuana is very bad seen in the Swedish judicial system. If you are arrested with marijuana and you show that you are a medical user, this circumstance is not only an extenuating circumstance but an aggravating circumstance. Why? Because the Swedish law considers that a user of marijuana for health reasons has no motivation to stop using the drug. Therefore, if you are arrested for possession, consumption or cultivation of marijuana in Sweden, the worst thing you can do is say that you feel good for health reasons.
In fact, recently a Swedish 79-year-old woman was imprisoned for 4 months for consuming cannabis to treat the chronic pain she had.
Neither is the cultivation of marijuana allowed to self-medicate. Anders Thörn fractured his neck in an accident in 1994 at the age of 15 and was paralyzed from the chest down. About ten years ago, his pain worsened a lot and no medication he tried helped him. After learning, he started growing marijuana at home and then consumed the oil from the plant.
After being arrested, he was acquitted in 2015 by the district court of Västerås, which considered that Thörn had been forced to face an emergency situation and had tried everything the health system has to offer.
However, the appeals court dismissed the verdict and the case was eventually referred to the supreme court of Sweden, the Supreme Court, which issued its ruling. The court said it recognized that the defendant was in an emergency situation, but that the reality is that cannabis cultivation was not yet allowed at home.
However, the court appreciated the fact that Thörn’s purpose had been a doctor and that he had tried to grow cannabis strains that contained minimal amounts of THC. The court said that after considering all the circumstances of the events, they qualified it as a minor drug offense. They fined him 5,200 crowns (616 dollars).
There is only one product based on marijuana called Sativex that was legalized in 2011 for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. However, in 2017 two patients were allowed to consume medicinal cannabis. The approval was given by the Swedish Medical Products Agency. It is not much but it is the first step towards a possible consideration of medical marijuana.