Cannabis Legalised in Germany, but Difficult to Purchase


The German parliament has approved a law permitting the recreational use of cannabis. The law allows individuals over 18 to possess significant quantities of cannabis, with strict regulations in place for its purchase. From 1 April, smoking cannabis in many public spaces will be legal. Individuals will be allowed to possess up to 25g in public spaces and up to 50g in private homes.

Despite the existing laws, cannabis use among young people has been on the rise, according to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who is spearheading the reforms. The aim is to dismantle the black market, protect users from tainted cannabis, and reduce income for organized crime groups.

However, the legalization of cannabis has sparked a heated debate in Germany, with concerns about increased drug use and potential harm to young people. The law was passed in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, with 407 votes in favor and 226 against.

Under the new law, smoking cannabis near schools and sports grounds will remain illegal. The market will be strictly regulated, making purchasing the drug challenging. Original plans to allow licensed shops and pharmacies to sell cannabis were abandoned due to EU concerns about a potential increase in drug exports.

Instead, non-commercial members’ clubs, known as “cannabis social clubs”, will grow and distribute a limited amount of the drug. Each club will have a maximum of 500 members, on-site consumption will be prohibited, and membership will be restricted to German residents.

The law also permits individuals to grow up to three marijuana plants per household. Critics argue that while this allows for possession of large quantities of the drug, it makes purchasing it difficult, potentially fueling the black market.

The government plans to evaluate the impact of the new law over the next few years and may eventually introduce licensed cannabis sales. However, opposition conservatives have stated they will repeal the law if they come into power next year. As such, it remains uncertain whether Germany will become Europe’s new cannabis hub.

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