Cannabis in Russia, The Motherland
Published by BudTender Staff on February 2, 2018 February 2, 2018
It’s no secret that Russians love Vodka. It’s their preferred drug of choice by a long shot. But how do they feel about cannabis? Evidently, at the same time that counter culture was taking off in the America’s during the 60’s and 70’s, there was a similar movement operating out of the Soviet Republics.
When the 70’s arrived in the USSR cannabis was typically only smoked in the wild Asian republics. Average Russians considered cannabis smoking as something alien and strange. The situation changed during the 70’s as the echo of the hippie movement came to the USSR, and the immigration of Asians into Russia increased. As a result, cannabis became popular among Russian Bohemia.
Cannabis remained a bohemian drug for a long time, but in the last decade, it has seen skyrocketing popularity. By 1992 most people were acquainted with the substance and most people could say they knew at least a few people who smoke. By 1995 almost all of the participants in a poll had inhaled cannabis at least once. Currently its hard to find young Russian who has never smoked cannabis.
Don’t get me wrong, alcohol is still the most popular drug among Russians, but more and more young people are discarding alcohol in favour of cannabis. Generally, they are successful young people who can afford a more or less satisfactory quality of life. These people don’t have time for a morning hangover. For them, cannabis is a means for relaxation and intellectual stimulation.
Well, what does their cannabis use look like? Are they bong hitters or joint smokers? Evidently, Russians very rarely roll joints. They typically use something called papiroses, which are short thick cigarettes without a filter. There are many brands but the most popular are known as Belomor. It’s a very cheap brand and is the preferred method of smoking for low-paid industrial workers.
Papirose are usually filled with pure cannabis or mixed with tobacco. When filled with cannabis it is usually called a kosyak, a word which means jamb or shoal. People usually smoke a kosyak using a technique called paravoz, meaning steam machine. There are two participants, one takes the burning edge of the kosyak inside his mouth and breathes out, while another is drawing a deep breath from the open side of the kosyak.
Another method popular in Russia is when cannabis is smoked through a burbulyator. Unfortunately, the word does not have an english translation, but is given because of its resemblance to boiling water. A burbulyator is made of a plastic bottle, the upper part with bottleneck is cut off and put into the bottle so that this part can move up or down. The bottle is filled with water, and the upper part is moved down. The bottle’s neck is covered by turned over bottle cap, which is lined by aluminum foil, pierced, and filled with the cannabis. The smoker lights up the cannabis slowly raises the upper part of the bottle. After that, smoke appears into the bottle under the water. Then the smoker takes the cap off, moves down the upper part of the bottle and inhales the chilled smoke going out from the bottle.
In the southern regions of Russia, there is also a very popular cannabis dish known simply as milk. It’s made from cannabis boiled with milk fat and butter. The milk is a greenish drink with an astringent taste.
When it comes to what Russians actually call cannabis there is a variety of words and local slangs that contribute. The most widespread names for cannabis are anasha, plan, konoplya, shala, and ganjubas.
But what do Russian police have to say about cannabis activity? Known for being kinda rude and solving all their problems via brute force, these police officers have slim earnings and most of them would prefer to take a bribe and let a smoker go than to bust them without any profit.
If you should happen to land yourself in a situation where you cannot bribe the officer in question, either because he is actually a good cop, or his superior is watching, you might find yourself in trouble. According to Russian laws, buying or possessing a big amount of cannabis (over five grams) without an intention to sell, is punished by three years imprisonment. If you are convicted of buying or possessing cannabis with an intention to sell it, you can be imprisoned for three to seven years. The punishment if you should happen to grow cannabis is either two-years imprisonment or a very heavy fine.
Unfortunately, the culture in Russia pushes cannabis consumption together with heavier drugs. Generally, there is anti-drug hysteria and parents are really scared about their children trying cannabis. So it’s unlikely cannabis will be legal in Russia anytime soon. With strict penalties and unfriendly attitudes towards the substance any drug reform that would pass through the countries legislature would face brutal opposition.
The price and quality of cannabis you could find in Russia varies. The cannabis usually sold in towns is imported from Russia’s neighbouring countries and can run anywhere from 15 to 20 dollars for 5 grams. And that is just the regular brand of cannabis. For hydroponic cannabis of higher quality, it could cost you a hundred dollars per 5 grams or matchbox. Generally, the quality of the cannabis found in Russia varies from very low to quality premium cannabis from the Netherlands. There is also hashish from middle Asia and Nepal that is available.
So if you have any reason to go to Russia, it might certainly not be for their cannabis situation. But if you should happen to find yourself in the former USSR, then be aware of their laws and the culture surrounding cannabis because they do things a little differently there.
Cannabis in Russia, The Motherland Published by BudTender Staff on February 2, 2018 February 2, 2018 It’s no secret that Russians love Vodka. It’s their preferred drug of choice by a long
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Why marijuana is still illegal in Russia and Ukraine
Russians, along with other Eastern Europeans such as Ukrainians, have a global reputation for being heavy drinkers. Russia is also known as the birthplace of a flesh-eating drug known as krokodil (“crocodile), or desomorphine, a synthetic opiate more powerful than heroin.
Given the prevalence of alcohol and opiates, it may be surprising that marijuana still remains taboo and illegal in Mother Russia.
Ukraine was poised to begin a medical marijuana program, but the process now appears to have hit a wall, with the newly elected president and former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky now suggesting the cannabis plant be studied further and implementation delayed.
Why marijuana is still illegal in Russia and Ukraine
Given the prevalence of alcohol in both Russia and Ukraine, marijuana is still taboo and very illegal in both countries. Here’s why.
Russians, along with other Eastern Europeans such as Ukrainians, have a global reputation for being heavy drinkers. Russia is also known as the birthplace of a flesh-eating drug known as krokodil (“crocodile), or desomorphine, a synthetic opiate more powerful than heroin. Given the prevalence of alcohol and opiates, it may be surprising that marijuana still remains taboo and illegal in Mother Russia.
A look at cannabis legislation in Countries around the World
Ever since Canada became the first major country to legalize marijuana for adults a year ago, other nations have been paying attention.
The small South American nation of Uruguay was the first to legalize marijuana for adults. New Zealand, Luxembourg and Mexico are among those that have looked to Canada for guidance or lessons, while Russia has chastised it for its “barefaced” flouting of international anti-drug treaties.
US student and medical marijuana patient charged with drug possession in Russia
Audrey Elizabeth Lorber, an American film student, is currently behind bars in Russia facing marijuana possession charges. Russian authorities allege Lorber illegally brought cannabis into the country after police discovered over 19 grams in her possession at the Pulkovo Airport. Based in New York, Lorber is a registered medical cannabis patient. But Russian courts say Lorber’s New York medical cannabis authorization doesn’t extend to Russia. Russia harshly penalizes drugs, and marijuana possession charges can carry a sentence of up to three years.
Russia advocates strict Drug Control Policy
Russia and few countries like Canada are at loggerheads over the issue of cannabis and hold conflicting views on drug related legislation. As per the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC’s) World Drug Report 2019, Russia along with the US and China was one of the three countries that together accounted for 43% of injected drug use globally.
Russia has identified the drug and crime policy as an area challenging the existing Western-dominated order and has strongly advocated a hard-line approach that seeks to eliminate the illegal drug market. On the other hand, the US has softened its stance on drug policy since the last decade.
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A new study has discovered that tough policies around drug use do not successfully deter youth from using cannabis, and that more liberal policies do not lead to an increase in rates of use.
Researchers at the University of Kent re-analysed information from over 100,000 teens in 38 countries such as Canada, the US, the UK, Russian and France.
Russia considering importing cannabis for research
Russia’s Health Ministry has expressed its interest in importing marijuana and hashish for research according to a draft bill that published earlier this week.
The purpose of the research would be to study marijuana’s “addiction-causing capacities”. Under current Russian law, the circulation of cannabis is illegal and possession of even small amounts can results in convictions or hefty fines.
“The import of narcotic drugs and cannabinoid psychotropic substances … will be required to conduct scientific research and testing in Russia,” says the regulation drafted by the Health Ministry.
Russia is known to be strongly against marijuana and have voiced their opinion on the matter when Canada decided to legalize cannabis nationally.
Schoolchildren in Russian Republic of Buryatia may face mandatory drug screenings
Similar proposals have been swiftly condemned in the past as violations of human rights.
If administrators in the Russian Republic of Buryatia get their way, students in the region may soon be required to take drug tests.
The move is similar to past proposals, many of which have been quickly condemned as human rights violations.
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