The authorities of Copenhagen have been trying to legalize cannabis for years. And yet it seems like the residents of the city will have to wait a bit longer before the Danish government dares to make some changes.
The free district of Christiania, which occupies a small territory inside the capital of Denmark, is well-known for its Pusher street where locals and tourists can buy cannabis products. This area has a long history going back to the hippie times, and since then, its inhabitants have been trying to persuade the government to legalize weed. However, every attempt was roughly rejected.
So far, there have already been three proposed trials, and now, for the fourth time, the Copenhagen government led by Mayor Frank Jensen has officially requested the government to allow the capital to launch a trial legalization program.
This program covers only the capital of Denmark and grants the right to handle sales exclusively to the public authorities.
The reason for the fourth attempt at the legalization was the unstable situation in the city associated with the fights between criminal gangs for taking control over the illegal drug market. The fights caused a few shooting incidents that made the local citizens feel unsafe.
Back in September this year, a gunman named Mesa Hodic started shooting in Christiania. As a result, two police officers and one civilian were wounded, and the gunman was shot.
The local residents believed that incident was linked to drug trade in Copenhagen. However, later the ISIS claimed responsibility for the shooting attack.
The coalition of the libertarian-leaning Liberal Alliance and left-wing Red-Green Alliance believes that the legalization of cannabis will decrease illegal weed sales and, therefore, force criminal gangs to stop their attempts to dominate in this area.
However, the national government is quite firm about rejecting any support for cannabis legalization. This contradicts the public opinion: the polls show that more than 50 percent of Danish people support the legalization of recreational cannabis, and the astonishing 88 percent would like to see medical cannabis be legal in Denmark.
The last aspect is quite possible, as the Danish government has recently approved a four-year trial program that in two years will let some of the patients be treated with medical marijuana.