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Germany unveils plan to legalize marijuana nationwide

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On Wednesday, the German health minister revealed a plan to decriminalize the possession of up to 30 grams (a little more than one ounce) of cannabis and to allow the substance to be sold to adults for recreational purposes in a controlled market.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said Berlin would check with the EU’s executive committee whether the plan approved by the German government was in line with EU laws and would go ahead with legislation “on that basis” only if it got the green light.

Lauterbach said the new rules could serve as a “model for Europe”. Realistically, he said, it would not be activated before 2024.

Lauterbach said the plan calls for cannabis to be grown under license and sold to adults at licensed outlets to combat the black market. Individuals are allowed to grow up to three plants, and purchase or possess 20 to 30 grams of marijuana.

Full legalization with strict regulations

If the legislation goes as planned, Lauterbach said, “this will be, on the one hand, the most liberal cannabis legalization project in Europe, and on the other hand it will also be the most regulated market.”

He said “improving youth protection and health” are the main objectives of the government’s proposal.

“It could be a model for Europe,” he said, which has a patchwork of often restrictive laws.

The minister, who himself had long been skeptical about the legalization of cannabis, argued that the current system was not working, with consumption rising and the illegal market booming. He said 4 million people in Germany, a country of 83 million people, used cannabis last year and a quarter of 18-24-year-olds used it.

Lauterbach said Germany did not want to emulate the model long practiced by the Netherlands, Germany’s northwest neighbour. It combines decriminalization with little market regulation.

Consumption halls are not allowed yet

Lauterbach said Germany will study whether cannabis can be consumed where it is sold, but it does not currently plan to allow it. The same goes for selling the substance in an edible form.

Stores that sell cannabis will also not be allowed to sell alcohol or tobacco products, and they cannot be near schools.

The health minister said the government does not plan to set a price, but intends to set quality requirements. He left open whether a “cannabis tax” beyond the standard sales tax, which could be used to fund information about the drug’s risks, would be imposed, but said the product should not be made too expensive to compete with the black market.

The result of a political deal

The cannabis plan is one of a series of reforms outlined in last year’s coalition agreement between the three socially liberal parties in Chancellor Olaf Schultz’s government. They agreed at the time that the “social implications” of the new legislation would be examined after four years.

Among other liberalization plans, the government removed from the German Criminal Code a ban on “advertising” of doctors Abortion Services. It also wants to ease the path to German citizenship, lift restrictions on dual citizenship and reduce the minimum voting age in national and European elections from 18 to 16.

The government also wants to repeal 40-year-old legislation that requires transgender people to obtain a psychological evaluation and court decision before formally changing gender, a process that often involves intimate questions. that it To be replaced A new law for self-determination.

Grow guide for marijuana beginners.
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