Boats in a Copenhagen waterway.

Roman Boed

Copenhagen Lawmakers Propose Cannabis Legalization Trial Program

Copenhagen, Denmark is making its fourth attempt to legalize cannabis under a trial program backed by Mayor Frank Jensen, the Independent reports. Officials are hoping that a legal market will help stop violence between gangs caused, in part, by the informal market.

“The past months have seen an intensification in the fight between gangs to dominate the lucrative and illegal market,” a Liberal Alliance member of the city council said in the report. “That causes insecurity for residents.”

Under the trial program, cannabis sales would be handled exclusively by public authorities.

Previously, the federal government has rejected similar proposals by the city; but last month an open cannabis market in the Freetown Christiana district was torn down following a shooting incident, which could move lawmakers to approve the plan. Two police officers and one civilian were wounded in the incident in which the gunman Mesa Hodzic, an alleged Islamic State sympathizer, was killed by police.

Last month, the Danish government approved a four-year trial medical cannabis program that will allow some patients to access the drug. That program is expected to launch by 2018.

According to the report, 88 percent of Danish people support legalizing medicinal cannabis use, which just over half support legalizing cannabis for adults.

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