::NY NORML International News

What is the legal status of cannabis seeds?

The legal position surrounding cannabis seeds is a question that must occur to many people when they encounter websites with cannabis seeds for sale on the internet. After all, if cannabis is illegal, as it is in most jurisdictions, then surely its cultivation will be too. Well, as with most things in life, it isn't quite that simple. There are countries where the possession of cannabis and its seeds is illegal and others, such as the UK, where the sale and possession of cannabis seeds is legal but the possession or cultivation of the plants is still illegal. Then there are countries such as Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium and The Netherlands where possession or cultivation for personal use is allowed. Even in the Just say no to drugs USA there are now 14 states where the medical use of cannabis / marijuana is permitted with a doctors supporting statement which is now being backed by the President Barack Obamas directive to the FBI and DEA to stop the harrasment and arrest of medical marijuana users and their legally certificated (by state law) medical grow operations.

This move has been taken a stage further with the recent announcement of a proposed referendum this coming autumn by the state of California to legalise and tax the cultivation and sale of marijuana as it is more commonly named there. 

So, given the existence of such a wide range of government stances regarding the legality of cannabis products, it can be seen that all is not black and white in the world of cannabis. The position with the legality of cannabis has been in a state of world-wide flux for four decades now, at least in countries which can be loosely termed western, liberal and democratic. Understanding that the forces of liberalism and conservatism are engaged in a continual battle to define the freedoms which we are allowed to exercise as individuals it is perfectly rational to empathise with those who see that the freedom to treat oneself with cannabis, or just to enjoy it socially, is part of a greater struggle towards self determination for citizens.

Further ammunition for the anti-prohibitionist arsenal is the evidence that wherever legalisation, decriminalisation and harm reduction schemes have been implemented concerning all drugs there is a concommittant reduction in crime, death and disease related to those drugs. When even the use of hard drugs is decriminalised leading to positive outcomes it seems increasingly absurd to punish those who seek to heal themselves either physically or psychologically with a herb that can be grown almost anywhere in one form or another.

Hardliners argue that the relaxation of drug laws is always accompanied by an increase in so-called drugs tourism in cities such as Amsterdam ignoring the logical corollary that this happens purely because these locations are de facto oases in a prohibitionist desert. Widespread decriminalisation removes the magnet-like effect of such cities at a stroke.

The collection and preservation of cannabis seeds in smell proof bags, in the many and varied strains that are available nowadays (including automatic autoflowering seeds such as Lowryder 2), can be viewed as a logical activity for cultivation and use at a later time when the discriminatory laws and attitudes surrounding and prohibiting its use will be thought of as just as inhumane and arbitrary as the denial of universal suffrage. With the marked change in attitudes currently gaining ground in the United States who would bet against the medical and tax benefits being recognised by more administrations?