Marijuana News

Germany Takes a Step Towards Legalizing Marijuana

Germany Takes a Step Towards Legalizing Marijuana


In a groundbreaking move, German lawmakers have approved a government plan to liberalize rules on cannabis, paving the way for the country to decriminalize limited amounts of marijuana and allow members of "cannabis clubs" to buy it for recreational purposes. The legislation, backed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's socially liberal governing coalition, was passed in the Bundestag last week, with 407 votes in favor and 226 against.

The new law, set to take effect on April 1, will allow German residents who are 18 and older to possess up to 25 grams (0.88 ounces) of marijuana for recreational use. Additionally, individuals will be allowed to grow up to three plants on their own and join nonprofit "cannabis clubs" with a maximum of 500 members each. These clubs will be able to grow cannabis for members' personal consumption, with a daily purchase limit of 25 grams and a monthly cap of 50 grams for those over 21 (30 grams for under-21s).

The German government aims to combat the black market and better protect young people by legalizing cannabis. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who initially opposed legalization, argues that current laws have failed and that removing the taboo around marijuana and providing information on its risks is the right approach.

Critics of the legislation, such as conservative lawmaker Tino Sorge, argue that the legalization of cannabis will not curb consumption among children and young people. However, Lauterbach counters that dealers who are caught selling to children or youths can expect to face a sentence of at least two years under the new law.

The plan represents a significant shift in Germany's approach to cannabis, and it is one of several policies that the Scholz government has implemented since taking office in 2021. Other measures include easing citizenship rules and ending restrictions on dual citizenship, as well as making it easier for transgender, intersex, and nonbinary people to change their gender and name in official registers.

While the legislation falls short of the government's initial ambitions to allow the sale of cannabis to adults across the country at licensed outlets, it still represents a major step forward for Germany and Europe as a whole. The upper house of parliament, which represents Germany's 16 state governments, could delay the legislation but does not require its formal approval.


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