The German federal government on Wednesday approved a controversial bill aimed at legalizing the cultivation and consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Is cannabis about to be legalized in Germany? On Wednesday, August 16, the government took another step towards the legalization of recreational cannabis with the adoption of the bill in the cabinet, accompanied by a prevention campaign targeting young people.
According to the text, which still needs to be debated and voted on by parliament, it will be possible to buy and possess up to 25 grams of cannabis from the age of 18.
Germany will thus have one of the most liberal legislations in Europe, following the lead of Malta and Luxembourg, which respectively legalized recreational cannabis in 2021 and 2023.
The coalition of Social Democrat Olaf Scholz’s party with the Greens and the Liberals has made this legalization one of the flagship projects of its mandate, even though the initial plan went much further. Faced with reservations from the European Union, Berlin had to revise its plans.
The reform also faces criticism from the opposition, police unions, and judges who believe it will not put an end to trafficking, one of the stated objectives.
According to this bill, it will also be possible to cultivate up to three cannabis plants for personal use.
The new legislation provides for the creation of non-profit associations whose adult members – limited to 500 – will be able to cultivate the plant for their own consumption, under the supervision of the authorities.
“Cannabis Social Clubs”
These self-proclaimed “Cannabis Social Clubs” will have regulated activity: they will only be able to supply their members, up to 25 grams per day with a maximum of 50 grams per month. For young people aged 18 to 21, it will be a little less: 30 grams per month. These clubs will be subject to controls by the authorities.
The consumption of cannabis must take place outside these clubs and will be prohibited within 200 meters of these clubs, schools, playgrounds, sports fields, and youth associations.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach also plans to launch a major awareness campaign for young people on the dangers of cannabis for the brain, which is “particularly harmful when it is still in the growth period”.
“For young people (under 18 years old), consumption remains prohibited, and for young adults (up to 21 years old), it is limited,” he noted in a statement.