Brittney Griner is home safe for having a vape pen while traveling in Russia…but what about all those Russians who want to kick back and chill? Well, things are definitely not easy. The home of vodka and vodka shots takes a very dim view of cannabis use.
The Russians drink some 17.3 shots of vodka per month on average, according to data from Euromonitor. That’s easily the most in the world. The Polish, the second biggest vodka drinkers, throw back about 13.7 shots per month; while Ukrainians drink roughly 10 shots per month. Americans come in at only 3.8. While studies show American
Studies show roughly 18% of Americans use weed at least once a year. In Canada it is 19% and in Europe it comes to about 10-11%. Not as popular or as commonly used in other European countries, it is estimated that just under 4% of the Russian population uses cannabis. Well, and for good reason – forced labor is a true buzz kill.
In 2004 the drug policy of Russia was liberalized. For various drugs (including marijuana), the amount that individuals could possess without facing criminal charges was revised upwards. In particular, the possession limit for cannabis was set at 20 grams, so that less than this amount would be only an administrative offense with no threat of jail time. Previously, possessing even a single cannabis joint qualified as a criminal offense!
In 2006 Russian policy reversed again to lower the possession limits for various drugs, with the criminal limit for cannabis going from 20 g to 6 g. Possession of less than 6 grams qualified as an administrative offense punishable by a 5000 ruble (about $61 US dollars) fine or 15 days detention. Large-scale possession results in a fine of 40,000 rubles ($489 US dollars), 480 hours of compulsory labor or 2 years of corrective labor or up to three years in prison or restricted freedom.
Now $61 dollars doesn’t sound like much but considering the average income there and WHOA – it could be painful. Russia Annual Household Income per capita reached 7,932.623 US dollar in Dec 2022, compared with the previous value of 6,561.323 USD in Dec 2021. Russia
The US is not perfect with thousands of cannabis prisoners still serving time behind bars for merely possessing a plant that is legal in some form in over half of the United States.
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If and when things cool down between the world and Russia, you still might want to be hesitant to visit if you enjoy a little “relax time”. Italy has stories in most cities where you can buy what you need and relax in the glorious Tuscan sun.
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