Germany plans to legalise cannabis for recreational use

More lenient than what the Dutch allow.

Belmont Lay | October 27, 2022, 11:13 AM

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Germany is going ahead with its plan to legalise recreational cannabis use among adults, Reuters reported.

Under the plan, possession of up to 30g of cannabis for personal use would be allowed, adults can privately grow up to three plants at home, and licensed shops and pharmacies would sell it.

The plan has yet to be approved in parliament, but Germany's coalition government has agreed on it.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the plan could become law in 2024.

The move was a key pledge of the Greens and liberal Free Democratic parties, who formed a coalition government with the Social Democrats (SPD) in the last federal election.

It was announced in 2021.

More lenient than Dutch laws

The Netherlands has so far not gone as far as the German plan.

The Dutch only tolerates the sale of small quantities of cannabis in "coffee shops".

In the European Union, only Malta has legalised recreational cannabis.

Reasons for decriminalisation of cannabis

Lauterbach said the cannabis ban had "no evident success" in recent years.

Decriminalisation would help protect the health of young people, he added, noting that cannabis consumption had risen, as had drug addiction among adults.

He made these remarks when presenting the plan.

"We want to regulate the market very firmly," he stressed.

The plan would involve a possible restriction on the maximum strength of cannabis products sold to adults aged under 21.

The main psychoactive ingredient in the drug, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), would be monitored, if it goes according to plan.

Lauterbach also said his government was submitting its plan to the EU Commission to check that it complied with EU treaties.

Users of cannabis for medicinal purposes are required to obtain a certificate before travelling to another country in the EU.

Some scientific studies have linked an increased risk of psychosis, especially among younger people, to potent strains of cannabis.

The health impact of cannabis is not settled especially in Europe.

Cannabis use across the Atlantic

Canada and Uruguay have also legalised recreational cannabis, with several countries having legalised limited use of medicinal cannabis.

In the United States, 37 states and Washington DC have legalised medical cannabis, while 19 states have approved it for recreational use.

Over 40 per cent of the U.S. population are in these states.

Top photos via Unsplash