These are certainly exciting times for the cannabis industry as the gradual shift from ban to legalization is gradually taking global shape. Gone are the days when many were criticized and stereotyped to enjoy the recreational goodness of natural grass. The current state of things has created a welcoming environment for everyone and variety to harness the potential of medicinal herbs for medicinal and recreational benefits. A by-product of this is that more countries are now open to legalizing cultivation and use within their jurisdiction. The last country to join the party was Luxembourg, which legalized the production and consumption of cannabis.
For those who are familiar with the trends in cannabis laws across Europe, you will agree that this is a very important step in changing the scope of cannabis laws across Europe. Luxembourg became the first in Europe after declaring the legalization of the production and consumption of natural herbs. Under the new legislation, the law will allow people over the age of 18 to grow up to four cannabis plants in gardens and homes. The cannabis plant grown in such homes can be used personally with legislation to allow the consumption of the herb in effect as well.
The government’s announcement also touched on other key talking points about the use of cannabis products in the country. One such talking point concerns the trade in natural weed seeds. The new law will allow distributors and dealers to trade in seeds with the removal of any restrictions in terms of quantity or THC . levels. This means that it will be possible to import cannabis seeds, buy them in stores or order them online. There is also a belief that this announcement will increase local production of seeds and strengthen the country’s national production and distribution chain.
The coast is not yet clear in terms of ban
Despite this, it is important to note that there are still some restrictions attached to this new legislation by the Luxembourg government. Certain activities involving natural grass are still prohibited under the new law. These activities include the consumption and transportation of cannabis and its products in public places. Likewise, the trade of cannabis or its products other than its seeds is still prohibited and punishable by law.
Some punishment laws for crimes related to cannabis or cannabis products were relaxed while others remained the same. Consuming and transporting cannabis up to 3 grams will now be considered a lesser misdemeanor than the previous classification as a criminal offence. Fines for possession of cannabis under 3 grams are still around 25 pounds, which is far from 251 pounds. However, it is still business as usual in terms of punishment for possession and transportation of cannabis products weighing more than 3 grams.
Benefits for the people and government of Luxembourg
One of the main points to talk about this new government statement is what it wants to achieve with this move. The previous approach of the Luxembourg government was to deter its citizens from using the natural grass for recreational purposes. However, this move did not yield much profitable results as the current trend showed that more of its citizens were given to use the grass. Therefore, the move to legalize the herb is set to help the government reduce the impact of the initially thriving black markets. Likewise, it will help the government in advocating and encouraging the reasonable use of the herb.
The government aims to use this legislation to regulate the production and distribution system of hemp and hemp products to check product quality. It is also said that the government plans to bring the revenue from cannabis sales into broad education of the masses about herbalism and health care. This has placed the country in a privileged position to protect its citizens from the dangers of adulterated and contaminated products common in illegal markets. Therefore, it is only a matter of time before the state wins the war against illegal black markets with the advent of this new law.
Implications for the rest of Europe and the world
As mentioned earlier, this step taken by the government is the first by any country in Europe which makes it the pioneer of this step among the countries of the continent. This step is even more important given the resolution introduced in the United Nations Convention on the Control of Narcotic Drugs. All the signatories agreed that the manufacture, import, export, distribution, trade and possession of medicines shall be limited to medical and scientific uses. This also includes cannabis, but Luxembourg joined Canada, Uruguay and 11 US states have now violated this decision.
The future of cannabis legalization in Europe is very promising, but it is still far from where cannabis fans had hoped it would be. The Netherlands is still considered one of the countries in Europe that are more permissive of cannabis laws. However, activities such as recreational use, possession and trade are still classified as illegal. What is there in the Netherlands is more tolerance for recreational use of cannabis within certain limits that are quite different from full legalization. The UK also supports this position because the possession, distribution, cultivation and use of cannabis remains prohibited with a fine and possibly a prison sentence for dropouts.
While it is good news that the Luxembourg government has taken this bold step, it is important not to get carried away just yet. These are still early days and a lot of work will have to be done if complete legalization of recreational and medical use is to be seen in all countries in Europe. However, we can still celebrate this current victory and what it means for the people of Luxembourg.