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  • Friday, 19 April 2024
Germany on the Verge of Legalizing Cannabis: A Paradigm Shift in Drug Policy

Germany on the Verge of Legalizing Cannabis: A Paradigm Shift in Drug Policy




Germany's parliament is poised to enact a groundbreaking law on Friday, paving the way for the legal cultivation and consumption of cannabis. This move seeks to regulate the behavior of the estimated 4.5 million Germans who currently use the drug.


Championed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's ruling coalition, the proposed law permits individuals to cultivate up to three cannabis plants for personal use and possess up to 25 grams of the substance. Additionally, it allows for non-commercial cannabis production in so-called cannabis clubs, limited to 500 adult members per club, who can consume their output exclusively.


Health Minister Karl Lauterbach underscores that the primary objective is to combat the black market and associated crimes, while curbing illegal dealing and reducing overall drug consumption.


Germany's embrace of cannabis legalization would mark a significant milestone, positioning it as the ninth country globally to embrace recreational use of the substance, joining jurisdictions in the United States and Australia. While the medicinal use of cannabis is already permitted in many countries, Germany intends to regulate this separately.


However, the law maintains strict regulations to protect minors and young adults, prohibiting cannabis consumption near schools and playgrounds. Lauterbach emphasizes that while legalization acknowledges cannabis consumption, it does not downplay its potential risks, particularly for developing brains.


Nevertheless, opposition conservatives have voiced concerns, citing complexities in enforcement and the potential for increased consumption. Christian Democrat legislator Tino Sorge criticizes the coalition's approach, warning against inadvertently promoting drug use.


Despite differing opinions, experts remain skeptical about the law's efficacy in curbing illegal dealing, as it may not deter those who prefer to purchase cannabis rather than grow their own or join a club.

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