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Europe: Croatia Supreme Court Throws Out Jail Sentence in Veteran's Use of Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #590)
Politics & Advocacy

In a June 3 decision, Croatia's Supreme Court threw out a jail sentence given to a war veteran who used marijuana to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The high court held that the man's use of marijuana was a "meaningless act" under Croatian law, which means he cannot be prosecuted.

The ruling comes even as Croatia embraces a "zero tolerance" drug policy. Under new Croatian drug laws, even the possession of a single joint can lead to a jail sentence.

The man, known only as "KD" in Croatian press reports, is one of about 18,000 veterans of the 1991-1995 wars around the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. He was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail in his home town of Vitrovitica for growing marijuana plants and possessing a little more than two ounces of usable marijuana.

The Supreme Court overturned the conviction and sentence, noting that "the defendant suffers from PTSD, and marijuana relaxes him and helps him to overcome psychological problems." The ruling is viewed as a precedent for other war veterans with PTSD.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

I hold a 100% PTSD rating throgh the VA, thanks to Vietnam. I've tried all they have to offer, the roundtables, the sit-ins, the DRUGS. Nothing worked! Then, I read about the Israelis using MMJ for their PTSD soldiers, with success. And I found it to be a TRUE story!

"Episodes, moments" whatever you want to call them, PTSD sufferers know of the terror onslaught that those words conger up. And we're helpless to stop it once it kicks in. At least, that's the way it USED to be. Today, I take one toke, about 4 times a day. Don't get high at all. And haven't had an episode in over a year now. And any "episode" that begins to build suddenly unravels. It goes from "sticky" to "slick."

Be careful talking to the VA about it. If you're not in a compassionate state and not a card holder, the VA can turn off any pain meds you might be receiving.

Sat, 06/20/2009 - 2:08pm Permalink

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