Slovenian Voters Approve Medical Cannabis on Referendum

Stephen Andrews
11 Jun 2024

Slovenia, a small European country tucked into the Alpine mountains, voted over the weekend on a referendum for medicinal cannabis. The vote went smoothly, with results showing overwhelming support for upgrading the national policy on medical cannabis. While the results of the referendum are not binding, it may largely influence the decision of lawmakers as they craft cannabis policies for the future.

Slovenian voters showed a vast support for medical cannabis in a national referendum that took place on Sunday, 9 June. 

There were two cannabis-related questions on the ballot. The first one went as follows: “Should the Republic of Slovenia allow the cultivation and processing of cannabis for medical purposes on its territory?” Over 65% of the vote went in favor of medical cannabis.  

A second question asked whether everyone of legal age should be able to legally grow and possess marijuana, which was practically measuring the pulse for allowing the recreational use of cannabis. 

The question went as follows: “Should the Republic of Slovenia allow the cultivation and possession of cannabis for limited personal use on its territory?” This measure was as well approved, although by a thinner margin with 52 percent in favor and 48 percent against. 

Slovenia’s cannabis vote took place alongside the wider European elections in 2024. 

Results of Slovenian Cannabis Referendum Are Not Binding

The results of the vote are non-binding, but they may influence future outcomes on cannabis legalization in Slovenia. The real decision-making power still is on the table of the Slovenian government.  

Medicinal cannabis drugs are legal in Slovenia, but growing the plant for personal therapeutic use is not permitted. The country also has a narrower list of qualifying health condition for medicinal cannabis compared to other European countries, and perhaps that will be one of the first points that lawmakers may want to address. 

Slovenia’s cannabis referendum follows months after Germany introduced partial legalization on adult-use cannabis. There’s right now a building momentum in Europe for bringing wider cannabis reform. 

While the recreational use of cannabis is currently not permitted in Slovenia, for that part the law mirrors more liberal-oriented drug policies seen in countries like Portugal. The possession of small amounts of any drug for personal use, including cannabis, is not considered a crime in Slovenia. Instead, it’s misdemeanor and can be settled with paying a small fine of €36-€179 (US$38-$192). The fine can be further reduced by showing up to a therapy appointment. 

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Stephen Andrews