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The History of Cannabis in Greece

by Thanos Kiahidis

The existence of the cannabis plant was for thousands of years decisive for human life as it was a source of energy, food, clothing, euphoria and healing for various diseases. The targeted total ban and its demonization over at least the last 80 years has trampled on the interests of humanity and blindly served the combined interests of the pharmaceutical, oil, tobacco, alcohol, paper and other unhealthy pollutants industry.

At the same time, scientific research is constantly published worldwide on its beneficial properties in various diseases and diseases, culminating in the early 1990s in the discovery of the endogenous cannabinoid system in the human body that coordinates different functions in order to homeostasis. Thus, the restoration of the truth finds ground in the lifting of malicious prohibitions that have only caused suffering to societies and the environment.

Greece that after centuries of rich exploitation of the plant followed obscurantism and scaremongering in the years of prohibition, the persecution of users with great zeal by the authorities and justice, even the severely ill who were in dire need of it in order to be cured or even to survive.

As a result of this treatment, patients and other users consumed dubious quality cannabis products, coming into contact with the underworld of smuggling and facing severe criminal penalties.

In this difficult environment with the skeptical and uninformed public opinion begins the movement against prohibitions and activism in favor of the legalization of cannabis with pioneers for more than 30 years doctors Kleanthis Grivas and Giorgis Economopoulos.

They all offered their documented scientific knowledge in bibliography, speeches, open social discussions, briefings and actions. On the side were scientists and writers such as Giorgos Karampelas, Marios Marselos, Kostas Skliamis and many artists like Dimitris Poulikakos, as well as many patients fighting for their rights.

This paves the way for proper information and information. Since 2004, similar festivals have been organized in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities with great participation of speakers, artists and supporters who year after year are embraced by the huge response and interest of the people.

Following all these actions , official bodies were created, such as the Greek Association of Therapeutic Cannabis, the Association of Patients for the Use of Medicinal Cannabis and the Association (MAMA.KA). In 2016 , 43,520 signatures of Greek citizens officially submitted to the health minister calling for the decriminalization of Medicinal Cannabis for patients. Also, their active action is continuous with interventions in the changes of the legislative framework, informing doctors and patients about the therapeutic value of cannabis by organizing workshops, medical gatherings, harvesting celebrations and other events.

Coming to 2018, the year begins with the first cannabis exhibition in Athens with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors, which was also attended by the iconic famous activist Rick Simpson. The June welcomed us with the exhibition Balkannabis with participants from all over the Balkans and Europe, important speeches and workshops as well as seminars of medical staff by excellent scientists and researchers of the industry. This was followed by an interesting first exhibition in Thessaloniki.

This is the beginning of the vindication of activists with the vision to see our society healthy, based on the truth about the healing properties of cannabis. The future of the use of therapeutic cannabis looks bright and has much more to teach us.

The Green Greeks Magazine

Photos from inexarchia

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