Germany partially legalizes marijuana, allowing personal use and home cultivation for citizens; There are no plans for herbal tourism

Germany partially legalizes marijuana, allowing personal use and home cultivation for citizens;  There are no plans for herbal tourism

A German law partially legalizing cannabis comes into effect today, fulfilling a key pledge by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government. However, access to the medicine will not be easy.

Starting April 1, it will be legal to carry up to 25 grams (0.88 ounces) of dried cannabis for personal use, which is enough to wrap about 80 medium-sized pieces. Home cultivation will also be permitted, with a maximum of three plants per adult and 50 grams of dried cannabis.

However, smoking the drug will remain prohibited within 100 meters (328 yards) of schools, kindergartens, stadiums and public sports facilities. Smoking will also be prohibited in pedestrian areas between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

From July 1, Germany plans to create organized cannabis cultivation associations to enable people to obtain the drug legally. Each so-called cannabis club will have up to 500 members and will be able to sell a maximum of 50 grams of dried cannabis per month per member.

An employee checks the quality of cannabis plants in a greenhouse at German pharmaceutical company Demecan’s production site for medical cannabis, in Ebersbach near Dresden, eastern Germany. Photo: Agence France-Presse

Adults under the age of 21 will be limited to 30 grams per month of cannabis containing no more than 10 percent of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Cannabis consumption will not be permitted in the clubs and membership will be limited to one club at a time.

‘We will arrest you’: Thai weed ban ‘starts like an explosion’ by year’s end

The only legal way to obtain cannabis will be to either grow it at home or obtain it through cannabis clubs, with both options limited to people who have resided in Germany for at least six months.

These restrictions are intended to allay fears of opposition parties, especially the conservative coalition between the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, that the new law could encourage “drug tourism.”

The SPD government led by Schulz, the Green Party and the pro-business Free Democratic Party initially pledged to go further and allow the sale of cannabis in shops, a move rejected by the European Union.

A second law is now being prepared to experiment with selling the drug in stores or pharmacies in certain regions.

A model of a giant joint engraved with the word “legalization” at the Cannabis Museum in Berlin. Photo: Agence France-Presse

The government insists the new law will reduce the health risks associated with cannabis because it will address the problem of contaminated substances on the black market. But the law has been widely criticized by medical associations and health groups.

This also led to complaints from the regional authorities charged with supervising its implementation. They fear they will be burdened with more bureaucracy because they will have to cancel prison sentences and fines already imposed for crimes that are no longer punishable under the new law.

Friedrich Merz, leader of the opposition Conservatives, warned that if his party returned to power after the 2025 elections, he would “immediately repeal the law.”

    (tags for translation)Cannabis

You may also like...

Leave a Reply