Germany Plans to Legalize Recreational Weed

is weed legal in germany

Germany is taking steps toward legalizing recreational marijuana. Chancellor Olaf Scholz believes this is a monumental move for Germany, and one he fully supports. The country’s health minister, Karl Lauterbach, has drafted legislation that would allow adults to buy and use cannabis and regulate its production. 

However, the biggest hurdle will be whether or not it falls in line with EU law. Only then will Lauterbach push forward. He believes it will reduce black market sales and the associated crime and plans to heavily regulate and govern the recreational program. For Europe, Germany has relatively relaxed drug laws, though not nearly as progressive as the Netherlands. 

Legal Weed, but Highly Regulated

Germany is often viewed as one of the most modern countries in the world.. Legalizing cannabis seems like a progressive step, but it will come with plenty of oversight and heavy regulation.

“This would be, on the one hand, the most liberal cannabis liberalization in Europe, and, on the other hand, it would also be the most tightly regulated market,” said Lauterbach.

Despite the strict laws, being one of the first countries to legalize weed would certainly open the floodgates for other countries to adopt similar legislation, meaning Europe may ‘snowball’ into legalization much like state after state in the US. The new legislation has yet to pass through parliament and is expected to face resistance from conservatives who are wary of legalization at a national level. 

germany plans to legalize recreational weed

If it is successful, the German government is expected to decide how cannabis will be regulated and sold in the country once they’ve considered opinions from experts and ministries. No advertising of any kind will be allowed to promote the sale of cannabis products. 

As of now, the new legislation would allow adults over 18 to legally possess up to 30 grams (just over one ounce) of cannabis for personal consumption. In addition, adults may grow up to three plants in their homes. The law would also allow for cannabis cultivation on a larger scale by licensed producers, which will be overseen by Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).

Germany’s Announcement Comes With Mixed Emotions

Pharmacists were quick to respond by saying that legal cannabis may pose health risks. However, their concerns are also grounded in the fact that medical access to cannabis may become competition. Klau Holetschek, the Health Minister of Bavaria stated that any amount of cannabis use may pose an irreversible risk to personal health and impact society as a whole. 

Still, those in favor of the potential financial gain have much to look forward to. Legalizing cannabis could bring Germany about $4.7 billion euros in tax revenues and savings, as well as create 27,000 jobs per year, according to a study from last year. The bill will be evaluated by parliament and likely not go into effect until sometime in 2024.

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