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European Cannabis Initiative Partially Registered by European Commission

European Cannabis Initiative Partially Registered by European Commission

In a significant development, the European Commission has decided to partially register the 'European Cannabis Initiative,' marking a pivotal moment in cannabis policy advocacy across the continent.


The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) was established as an instrument of citizen empowerment under the Lisbon Treaty, enabling one million citizens from at least seven EU Member States to petition the Commission to propose legal actions within its jurisdiction. The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) stands as a pivotal pillar of democracy within the European Union, empowering citizens to actively participate in the policymaking process. By providing a platform for ordinary citizens to voice their concerns and advocate for legislative action on issues of public interest, the ECI promotes inclusivity, transparency, and accountability in EU governance.


The initiative's proponents have put forth a multifaceted agenda, urging the Commission to convene a trans-European citizens' assembly on cannabis policies, facilitate access to medical cannabis, and allocate resources for cannabis research, particularly focused on therapeutic applications. However, the Commission's evaluation found that only the second and third objectives of the initiative met the criteria for registration, while the first objective, concerning a trans-European citizen assembly, sanctions and policy consistency, fell beyond the Commission's legal mandate. While the registration represents a significant step forward, it does not imply endorsement of the initiative's substance. The Commission's decision serves as a procedural acknowledgement, allowing further consideration and public engagement.


The registration process followed a meticulous two-stage procedure, with organisers invited to refine their proposal based on the Commission's preliminary assessment. Moving forward, the organisers of the initiative now have a six-month window to kick-start the process of collecting signatures. Should the initiative gain backing from one million citizens across a minimum of seven EU Member States within the next year, it will compel the Commission to respond. This response will involve an assessment of whether to pursue legislative measures, accompanied by transparent justifications.


Since its inception in 2012, the European Citizens' Initiative mechanism has proven itself as a crucial instrument for citizen-led advocacy in policymaking. The recent partial registration of the 'European Cannabis Initiative' signifies a milestone under the updated ECI Regulation, highlighting the evolving landscape of civic participation within the EU.


With the ongoing evolution of the cannabis policy discourse, this development underscores the increasing momentum behind calls for reforming cannabis regulations throughout Europe. Having already registered 110 initiatives, the Commission's decision paves the way for continued dialogue and the potential enactment of legislative changes in the realm of cannabis policy.

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