After years of debating, Greece has finally joined the long list of European countries to legalized medical marijuana. While this is a huge step forward for this Mediterranean country, they are not the first to do so. In fact, Greece is the sixth European country to rake in the benefits of this lucrative business.
The legal use of marijuana in Greece will be primarily restricted to certain medical conditions. Unlike other areas where medical marijuana is legal, Greece has a short list of conditions. This list includes ailments like PTSD, cancer and other serious chronic pain conditions. Greece is hoping that with the new legalization they will be able to control opioid addictions.
There have been a growing number of opioid addiction cases, especially in the major cities like Athens. While this is a problem for the mainland, smaller islands have seemingly been unaffected. This has caused a slight rift between areas. While the mainland does seem to be more progressive, outer islands would prefer to stick to tradition.
It has been no secret that Greece has been struggling financially over the past decade. The blame has been placed on people not paying taxes as well as the younger generation seeking employment out of the country.
This financial crisis has put a large strain on the country’s government, which has left Greece with a large debt margin. This crisis has not only affected the banks, but has affected Greece’s relationship with the rest of Europe as well. Recently, Europe has loaned Greece $8.4 billion dollars as a bailout aide. While this will help Greece to regain some solid ground, it is just a temporary band aid.
This might explain Greece’s sudden change of heart when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana has proven to be a very profitable business for the states and countries where it is decriminalized.
In certain countries, like the UK, it is estimated that the marijuana business can garner as much as $ 1 billion dollars a year in tax revenue. While the UK has a larger market for marijuana than Greece, Greece is still sure to bring a large profit.
Canada has estimated that they brought in $23 billion in tax revenue in a year. Even countries like Sweden reported numbers in the billions in revenue. So what does this mean for Greece’s financial crisis?
Legalizing marijuana could be the first step towards financial freedom for this struggling country. This is because the biggest profiteer of the marijuana business is the government. Since the banks of Greece are government controlled, the country’s debt will be the first to benefit.
This could also help Greece’s financial situation in other ways as well. If Greece follows other EU country’s lead and legalizes recreational use of marijuana, they will profit even more. This might also actually help to encourage the progressive youth to stay in the country.
By keeping workers in Greece, there will be more job growth and tax revenue. This could also help to give tourism a boost. While Greece will always remain a popular spot for travelers, the extra foot traffic could help to support local businesses.
Whichever direction that Greece is heading in, one thing is clear. Greece is on track to pull them out of the debt crisis by simply legalizing marijuana. Greece could be financially stable again if their government profits as much as other EU countries who have legalized marijuana.