Germany Set to Legalize Cannabis for Personal Use

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Germany Set to Legalize Cannabis for Personal Use

Germany is today set to join the list of countries who have legalised cannabis for personal use.

Germany is set to legalise cannabis today, allowing possession of up to 25 grams and cultivating up to three plants for personal use.

The country's parliament is about to vote on a law will legalise the cultivation and consumption of a limited amount of the drug.

If MPs vote yes, smoking cannabis in a lot of public spaces will be legal from 1 April.

This decision is being made in an effort to regularise the behaviour of the 4.5 million Germans who are estimated to use it.

Under the proposals brought by the Chancellor Olaf Scholz's ruling three-party coalition, cultivating up to three plants for private consumption and owning up to 25 grams (0.88 oz) of cannabis would be legalised.

Meanwhile, larger-scale, but still non-commercial cannabis production, would be allowed for members of so-called cannabis clubs.

These clubs would have no more than 500 members, all of whom would have to be adults and only club members would be allowed to consume their output - this part of the law would kick in on July 1.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, said: 'The aim is to crack down on the black market and drugs-related crime, reduce the amount of dealing and cut the number of users.'

The move would make Germany the ninth country to legalise recreational use of the drug - it is also legal in some jurisdictions in the United States and Australia.

Many more countries allow its medical use as a painkiller, which is a practice Germany plans to regulate in a separate law.

It's important to note that cannabis would remain illegal for minors and highly restricted for young adults - consuming it near schools and playgrounds would be illegal.

'This restriction is necessary because cannabis is particularly damaging for the still-growing brain,' Lauterbach added. 

'Nobody should misunderstand this law: cannabis consumption is being legalised, but that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous.'

However, the debate about whether to decriminalise cannabis has been raging for years in Germany.

Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world and its use in Germany has increased in recent years despite current laws prohibiting it.

The number of adults in Germany aged between 18 and 25 years old that consumed cannabis at least once nearly doubled in 2021 from the previous decade to 25%, according to the health ministry 

The opposition conservatives oppose the new rules, which they say are too complicated for authorities to enforce and could lead to greater consumption. 

Christian Democrat legislator Tino Sorge, said: 'Instead of protecting children and young people, the coalition is acting like a state drug dealer.'

Additionally, some experts doubt the new regulations would have much impact on dealing, since those who are unwilling to grow their own cannabis or join a cannabis club may still prefer to buy the drug.

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Region: Germany

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