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Germany legalises personal cannabis usage

  • German parliament legalizes cannabis
  • Purchase limits, cultivation allowed
  • Critics fear youth consumption rise

Adults will be permitted to purchase a maximum of 25 grammes of the substance per day and to cultivate up to three plants each. However, critics argue that these measures may encourage more young people to use it.

Contradictorily, the German parliament has authorised the recreational use of cannabis.

On Friday, the measure was approved by the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament.

For recreational purposes, adults will be allowed to purchase up to 50 grammes (approximately two ounces) or 25 grammes (about one ounce) of the substance per month from 1 April.

Monthly limits will be set at 30 grammes for those under the age of 21.

Individuals will also be able to cultivate a maximum of three plants for personal use.

The legislation could potentially be postponed by the upper house of Germany, which consists of sixteen state governments; however, formal approval from the chamber is not required.

Additionally, the conservative state government of Bavaria has stated that it will explore the possibility of legal action to halt the law.

The plans, which were part of the social reform initiative of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, were approved on Friday by a vote of 226 to 407.

Originally intended to be enacted at the beginning of the year, the measures experienced delays due to opposition from some lawmakers within the governing three-party coalition of Mr. Scholz.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach stated, “We have two objectives: to enhance protection for children and adolescents and to crack down on the black market.”

He argued that Germany’s existing legislation had proven ineffective. The country faces escalating problems with contaminated or overly potent batches and rising usage. The substance is used by an estimated 4.5 million Germans.

Debating Cannabis: Risks and Regulations

Mr. Lauterbach further stated, “Regardless of our actions, we cannot continue in this manner. You may choose to bury your head in the sand, but that will not help us solve a single problem.”

The minister suggested that research indicated eliminating social taboos surrounding the substance. Educating users about its risks was the most effective method for managing it.

However, the proposals were opposed by Conservative lawmaker Tino Sorge, a member of the centre-right opposition in Germany.

The lawmaker for the Christian Democrats stated, “You are sincerely claiming that increasing the legalisation of drugs will effectively restrict drug use among the youth. That is the most ludicrous statement of my entire life.”

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Additionally, the measures allow German citizens who are 18 years of age or older to become members of non-profit “cannabis clubs,” each limited to 500 members, and prohibit their members from cultivating the substance for personal use before 1 July.

Dealers caught selling to minors or youths could face up to two years in prison under the new legislation.

Additionally, sponsorships and advertising involving the substance will be prohibited. Its use will also be prohibited in the vicinity of schools, playgrounds, and sports facilities.

The modifications to the government’s initial propositions advocated for the sale of cannabis to adults at licensed establishments. They were deemed less audacious after deliberations with the European Union.

Germany becomes the ninth country to legalise the substance for recreational use. Many others permit its application as a painkiller for medical purposes.

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