Germany Becomes Ninth European Nation to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

Germany has approved a bill that would legalize the recreational use and possession of cannabis for adults over the age of 18 as of April 1, 2024, becoming the latest European nation to do so.

The matter was taken to a vote on Friday (February 23) morning in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. The debate was reportedly heated, but in the end the measure passed with 407 votes for and 226 against.

Under the new law, German adults will be able to legally possess up to 25 grams of cannabis in public places and 50 grams at home. Smoking cannabis in public will also be allowed, as will home cultivation of up to three plants.

Medical use of cannabis has been legal in Germany since 2017.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, a vocal advocate for the legal recreational use of cannabis, pointed out that the use of cannabis has increased despite its current illegal status, doubling in the past 10 years.

He hopes that the passing of this law will undermine the illicit sale of cannabis by criminal organizations and reduce the risk of smokers being exposed to other substances from contaminated plants.

The news has been met with opposition from German healthcare professionals and conservative politicians who worry that legalization will fuel the use of other drugs. Some members of the Christian Democratic Union, Germany’s conservative party, have said that they will repeal the law if they regain power after the next election.

Previously discussed plans to allow licensed shops and pharmacies to supply cannabis were shelved in favor of non-commercial “cannabis social clubs.” These clubs, which will open on July 1, 2024, will have a member limit of 500, and memberships will only be granted to German citizens; tourists will not be allowed to consume cannabis in the clubs or purchase cannabis from them. Critics say these paradoxical guidelines may increase illicit activity, since occasional smokers may have a difficult time obtaining cannabis legally and because the law prohibits tourists from using the clubs.

Official documents, including statements from supporters and opposers written in German, can be found here.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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