Hungarian police on Wednesday arrested a drug activist for possession of illegal substances two days after he brought a cannabis plant to his trial for using marijuana.
“The police came to my house because I took a plant into the courtroom,” Peter Juhasz, the Vice President of the Hempseed Organization, told Cannabis Culture. “They found a plant and other paraphernalia and arrested me.”
Juhasz was released after spending several hours in the police station undergoing urine tests and questioning.
The police had obtained a warrant to search Juhasz’s home after a Budapest court launched an investigation into how he managed to bring the plant into the courtroom. Despite being tried for smoking marijuana and receiving a 340-dollar fine on Monday, Juhasz managed to wander out of the courtroom without having his plant confiscated.
“It’s my conviction that soft drugs are not a danger to society,” Juhasz said after the trial. “I wanted to show this naturally-growing plant is no threat.”
New proceedings will now be launched against Juhasz for possessing the illegal plant.
Juhasz was the first activist to face trial after Hempseed began a campaign of “civil disobedience”, in which 60 marijuana users turned themselves into the police to protest Hungary’s stringent drug laws.
The campaign kicked off in the middle of last year when Hempseed decided to try to draw attention to what they see as pointlessly harsh drug laws. Soft drugs are illegal in Hungary, and possession is potentially punishable by two years in prison.
Hempseed was founded in 2002 to fight for the decriminalization of all drug users, and for a while it looked like they may be having some success.
The government attempted to liberalize the drug law in 2003, changing it so it was no longer an offence to possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use. However, the country’s conservative MP referred the law to the Constitutional Court, who ruled against passing the law into power.
Recent studies in Hungary have shown that one-fifth of people between ages 14 and 18 have tried drugs, while estimates show however that 50-70 per cent of young people in a slightly older age group have engaged in occasional drug use.
Read the first story about his appearance in court with his plant at www.drugreporter.net.