The Government of Northern Macedonia is considering legalizing the consumption of cannabis in cafes and hospitality venues in the capital, Skopje, and other tourist places said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
The idea is to allow the consumption of cannabis in cafés, both existing and new, and in tourist places, including Skopje, if they meet certain ventilation standards, proof of the origin of the cannabis,” Zoran Zaev said.
He added that the government is considering strict regulations in this area, using Amsterdam in the Netherlands as an example. The Prime Minister said this was part of the government’s package of measures to stimulate the economy, which has been hit hard by the VIDOC health crisis.
Zoran Zaev, who for the past two years has promised a public debate on the issue, warned that his Social Democratic government has not yet made a decision and insists that if the majority of the country says no to the idea, he will not go through with it.
The Macedonian Minister of Justice, Bojan Maricic, later stated that he was in favor of initiating a public debate on decriminalization and wants experts and NGOs to be invited to share their opinions.
“Regulation in this area can bring several benefits to the country, such as regulating the cannabis trade, reducing crime, and of course economic benefits, mainly in the tourism and hotel sectors,” said Bojan Maricic.
The Croatian neighbor drafted a proposal for the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes in early 2020. The project is currently in the phase of public debate.