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Justice Minister Žitňanská says no to legalisation of marijuana

There is currently no possibility to legalise marijuana in Slovakia, Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská said at a discussion at an Anti-Drug Forum on April 5, the TASR newswire wrote. "Conversely, I see room for debate on the level of punishment – the length of sentences and types of penalties," said Žitňanská, adding that the Justice Ministry is not currently considering drawing up any bill that would change the current legislation.

There is currently no possibility to legalise marijuana in Slovakia, Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská said at a discussion at an Anti-Drug Forum on April 5, the TASR newswire wrote.

"Conversely, I see room for debate on the level of punishment – the length of sentences and types of penalties," said Žitňanská, adding that the Justice Ministry is not currently considering drawing up any bill that would change the current legislation.

Some participants at the conference pointed out that the current measuring of sentences based on the amount of one-time doses sometimes is possessing is ambiguous. "What statistics describe as 15 doses may only be three doses for some people," said lawyer Marek Para, as quoted by TASR. He noted that the current zero tolerance for possession of illegal drugs may result in punishment for a person caught with less than one dose of marijuana.

Žitňanská stated that that a slight increase in the legal limits such as from zero to one dose would provide scope for misuse. The director of the Criminal Department at the General Prosecutor's Office, Jozef Čentéš, said that even though there is zero tolerance in place, a person gets into serious trouble only when they are caught with a dose that would influence their behaviour.

Bratislava-Petržalka District Court judge Marcela Košová stated that around 90 percent of defendants possessing marijuana end up with a conditional sentence, while the remainder see financial penalties. Žitňanská also proposed introducing alternative punishments such as house arrest or public service work.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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