• Austria's news in English

Salzburg club demands legalization of marijuana

Staff reporter · 15 May 2014, 15:33

Published: 15 May 2014 15:33 GMT+02:00

Attitudes towards marijuana usage in Austria are sharply divided, between patients and doctors who swear by the plant, to those who view it as a dangerous drug.

Marijuana can now be freely purchased in pharmacies in the US states of California and Colorado, with a similar model being introduced in Uruguay. In Austria however, possession and cultivation of marijuana is illegal and punishable by jail sentences of up to ten years.

Club chairman Wilhelm Wallner was prescribed morphine to relieve his chronic pain following a serious accident at work. After reacting badly to morphine, he searched for alternatives, eventually discovering marijuana.

"It relaxes the muscles and the nerve endings, and the pain is markedly reduced," Wallner said. 

After a doctor verified his positive results, Wallner began to grow his own crop, for which he was repeatedly reported. 

Doctors then prescribed synthetic cannabis – an artificially manufactured product with the active ingredient THC which induces relaxation, and is also found in hemp.

"The medication contains THC and the plant also contains THC. The plant helps me in the same way as the medication, but it's cheaper," explained Wallner.

One packet of the THC-Preparation Sativex costs €700, while the quantity of marijuana required to deliver the same effect costs €50.

Wallner's proposal is for his club to grow marijuana under supervision, and for its quality to be tested by the Ministry of Health. With a doctor's certificate, members would then be able to purchase marijuana.

Story continues below…

Police lawyer Bruno Wurhofer says the society can indeed apply for the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes, however "the production and distribution of marijuana is categorically prohibited. Should this happen somewhere, then we can officially disband the society," he added. 

Salzburg's Cannabis Social Club has said it will continue with its attempts to obtain special permission from the authorities.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Border security tightened after Munich massacre
File Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austria has "significantly" tightened security measures along its border with Germany and put an elite police force on high alert following the Munich mall attack, a government security chief said Friday.

Rampage shocks Munich leaving nine dead
Photo: Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de

Elite German police were hunting for gunmen who went on a shooting rampage at a busy mall in Munich, killing eight people in cold blood in the third attack on civilians in Europe in barely a week.

Newspaper sellers attacked with iron bar in Vienna
Pfatter/Creative Commons

Three newspaper sellers in Vienna were assaulted by attackers with an iron bar in two separate incidents that took place over one evening this week.

Bank takes new €50 note on Austrian-wide tour

Forget Beyonce or Muse - this is the tour you want to make sure you catch in 2016.

Austrian switched at birth unlikely to meet 'real' mum
Mahlknecht/LKH-Univ. Klinikum Graz

An Austrian who may have been switched at birth is unlikely to ever meet her birth parents after a call for hundreds of women to come forward and be tested failed to find another switched baby.

Austria ready for 100km border fence with Hungary
J. Ott/Creative Commons

Austria has finished preparations for building a possible 100 kilometre fence along its eastern border with Hungary.

Outrage after Nazi memorial used for Pokemon battles
Youtube screengrab/funstuffnthings

A memorial to victims of Nazism has become the latest controversial location for Pokemon battles after Pokemon Go hunters visited the site to play the app game sweeping the globe.

Brexit predicted to cut growth in Austria by 0.5%
Ed Everett/Creative Commons

Austria’s Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) announced today that Britain’s decision to leave the EU is expected to cut economic growth in Austria by half a percent by 2020.

Corruption charges against ex-Finance Minister confirmed
A fresh-faced Karl-Heinz Grasser when he entered office over a decade ago. Photo: BIG SHOT / Christian Jungwirth

Austria’s Justice Ministry is expected to announce corruption charges against the country’s former Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser later today following a seven year investigation.

Austria summons Turkey's ambassador following protest

Austria’s Foreign Ministry summons the ambassador for Turkey to discuss the crackdown in the country following the failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
Europe's ice cream capital
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Best Austrian beauty spots
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Don't hesitate - break the window
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Ready to watch some football? Here's how!
Cake rules
Austria's choice for a new president
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Refugees need practical help
All you need to know about Austrian Faschingskrapfen
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why looking good on the ski slopes has never been easier
Live in Austria? You might develop some of these weird habits
How 'Silent Night' rules the carol world
jobs available