Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday passed a bill to legalize adult cannabis use and cultivation, Reuters reports. The measure still requires approval from parliament.
Under the proposal, adults would be allowed to possess up to 25 grams, grow up to three plants, and acquire cannabis as associates of non-profit clubs. Young adults would be allowed to purchase up to 30 grams per month, while older adults would be able to purchase up to 50 grams.
During a press conference, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach indicated that the reforms would include a risk awareness campaign, which would help curb cannabis consumption. According to the Health Ministry, the share of adults in Germany between 18 and 25 years old that consumed cannabis at least once nearly doubled in 2021 from the previous decade to 25%.
“With the current procedures we could not seriously protect children and young people, the topic has been made a taboo. … We have rising, problematic consumption, we couldn’t simply allow this to go on. So this is an important turning point in our drug policy.” — Lauterbach via Reuters
Originally, the government planned on allowing dispensaries throughout the nation; however, under the revised plan, a pilot program would first allow a limited number of licensed shops in some regions to test the effects of a commercial supply chain of cannabis over five years, the report says. Germany’s hemp association told Reuters that the regulations outlined in the proposal were “unrealistic” and the illicit market could only be beaten by allowing cannabis sales in retail shops.
If approved, the German law would be Europe’s most liberal cannabis-related reforms. In 2021, Malta became the first in the European Union to legalize cannabis for adult use. Under Malta’s law, adults can legally possess up to seven grams of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants.
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