Cannabis users ‘will have a new place in our society’: Germany legalizes home cultivation | world News

Cannabis users ‘will have a new place in our society’: Germany legalizes home cultivation |  world News

At a large gray facility outside Dresden, East Germany, security has been tight.

The large metal door blocking the bright white hallways is the same type used to protect Germany’s gold reserves.

Behind this, Demican grows cannabis for medical use, which became legal in 2017.

The strict safety is due to the fact that the drug is classified as a narcotic under German law.

But that will change today, with a new law decriminalizing homeownership and farming, which Dr Philip Goebel, Managing Director of Change, hopes to build on.

“For us, the passage of this law was very good news,” he said.

“Now we are allowed to grow more cannabis, which we can also sell directly to pharmacies.

“The second part, which is very important for patients, is that cannabis has now been declassified.

“It’s not a narcotic product anymore, which means any doctor can now prescribe it.”

Dr. Philip Goebel. Photo: Demican

Under the new law, adults will be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of the drug in public places, keep 50 grams at home and grow a maximum of three plants.

As of July, private “cannabis clubs” can accommodate 500 members on a limited basis.

“It’s not the law we expected, but it’s a good law because we’ll have 180,000 fewer prosecutions next year,” said Stephen Geier, a long-time cannabis activist and president of the Association of Cannabis Social Clubs.

“This will be a huge relief for cannabis consumers,” he added.

“You can have 25 grams of cannabis with you without fear of arrest or fear of trouble with the police.

“Cannabis consumers will have a new place within our community.

“We will no longer be the black sheep of the entertainment community.

Dr. Philipp Goebel with cannabis in Germany.  Photo: Demican
Dr. Philip Goebel. Photo: Demican

“We will be like people who abuse alcohol or use chocolate, coffee or tea.”

But there are limitations.

For example, a person must be over 18 years of age and smoking is not permitted in areas such as stadiums and sports centres.

The potency of THC, the psychoactive substance that gets you high, will also be limited, especially for people under 21.

To avoid “drug tourism”, the only way to obtain recreational cannabis is to grow it at home or through “cannabis clubs”.

In both cases, people must have resided in Germany for at least six months.

Read more:
There are no trials of medical cannabis for the NHS yet
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Getting the new law across the line has been a big battle.

The government has claimed it will help curb the black market, tackle drug crime and ensure a safe, high-quality product, but opponents say it ignores health risks, especially for young people.

“At the moment, the judicial system, the police and the local government are voicing a lot of criticism because the new law cannot be implemented correctly,” said Erwin Rudel, an opposition Christian Democratic Union politician and head of the parliamentary health committee.

“There are concerns about the impact of cannabis consumption on the mental health of people under 25, and the fact that it is impossible to control someone if they are in possession of 25g or 30g.

“Then there is the issue of controlling ‘cannabis clubs’ and controlling whether someone grows just three plants at home.”

His party pledged to repeal the law if it returns to power next year.

Man holding sign reading "Not criminal" While participating in a rally with marijuana activists to celebrate the annual World Cannabis Day and protest the legalization of marijuana, in front of the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany, April 20, 2022.
A man holds a sign reading “Not criminal” while participating in a pro-legalization protest in Berlin in 2022. Image: Reuters

A recent opinion poll showed that the public was also divided, with a slim majority against it.

In a YouGov poll, 42% of respondents said they somewhat or completely supported the legislation, while 47% said they somewhat or completely opposed it.

11% had no answer.

“I think it’s bad because of the young people. It’s dangerous,” one shopper in Berlin told us.

But one woman we spoke to said: “I think this is a good thing. Now they can guarantee its good quality and the state can now get the tax from it.”

Supporters of the new law plan to welcome it by “smoking” at the Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Image: iStock

From 11.30pm (10.30pm UK time) on Sunday evening, people have been invited to gather to smoke marijuana in public – but only when the law comes into force, according to the German news agency (DPA).

Despite some concerns, this is just the first step in a two-part plan.

If successful, it could pave the way for pilot projects allowing state-controlled cannabis to be sold in some licensed stores.

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