According to the laws of Turkey, smoking cigarettes was not even tolerated, let alone marijuana, and especially in public areas. However, all of these things were kept low profile as it was strictly prohibited, and thus, once you kept it discreetly, no one would bother about your addiction. The smokers used to bribe the cops so as to enjoy any such activities.
Therefore, everything was seen to be okay until you kept it discreet; otherwise, a heavy fine was induced on the individual. The average prices of these drugs were excessive as the people had no other options than to purchase these items from the black market, and thus, the common price of 25 grams of marijuana in Turkey was about 80 US dollars.
History of Illegal Cannabis in Turkey:
Turkey has had a harsh charge on drugs since the beginning of time probably, mostly because it is trafficked into Europe and PKK was supposedly involved in the production of a few of the narcotics. The restricted policies in Turkey are the major cause for the minimum user-base of drugs. However, it was a bit easy to find drugs in Istanbul than in the rest of the country. The user-base of illegal drugs in the country was always relatively small but it was growing with the passage of time. Due to these factors, the cannabis, or marijuana, found in some of the parts of the country, was always low in terms of quality.
The harsh penalties surrounding the use of cannabis were the reason why the black market was charging heavily to sell these drugs. Even though the cultural aspects of Turkey are not considered to be conservative, but when it comes to the use of cannabis and other drugs, they are leftist. It was not just about the consumption, as the residents of the country were also strictly prohibited from selling, growing, receiving, or buying cannabis anywhere in the country. Furthermore, the cannabis bought in Turkey was not considered safe, especially for the foreigners.
Legalization of Cannabis:
After years of contradiction, Turkey has taken a huge step to legalize the production of cannabis in around 19 provinces of the country. The main objective of the government is to control the production of cannabis and by legalizing it; they can crack down on the illegal production. Plus, this way they can control the drug from getting into the hands of the younger generation. These new regulations are imposed by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock, and it was basically published all over the news in late September 2016.
Since the production of cannabis is going to be controlled by the Turkish government, the potential cannabis growers would have to obtain legal permission from the government of Turkey in order to grow a plant for a period of three years. The growers would have to face the legal consequences if they do not adhere to the new laws and would be subjected to pay a heavy fine. However, one must keep in mind that the production is only legalized for medical and scientific purposes and that too, in around 19 provinces only. The production and growth of cannabis is allowed to be produced in the provinces of Amasya, Antalya, Bartın, Burdur, Çorum, İzmir, Kütahya, Ordu, Kastamonu, Zonguldak, Kayseri, Malatya, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, Tokat, Uşak, Yozgat, and Karabük.
The purpose and the law for the production of cannabis remains the same for every province, and the farmers should remember that their warranty is only valid for a period of three years, and after that, they have to apply for a new permission. The permission would mainly be granted to the people who have to execute research projects on cannabis. In addition to that, the farmers must also remember that they are prohibited from selling any form of the cannabis plant as a psychoactive drug. Plus, they are also required to present the ministry with a valid reason and a written contract, which states that they are not involved in any illegal activity regarding cannabis, or illegal cannabis production, or any sort of drug-trafficking.
According to the strict rules and regulations of the Turkish government, the growers must know that they would be required to dispose of all of the parts of the plant after the harvest period of over, and once their warranty ends, in order to prevent the drug from being sold out as a psychoactive drug.