Germany, Europe’s largest economy, plans to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. On Wednesday, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented a plan to legalize marijuana to the federal cabinet. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the move would make Germany one of the first countries in Europe to legalize recreational marijuana. Currently, Malta is the only country in Europe to take this bold step.
The legalisation of cannabis for recreational use was enshrined in the coalition government’s manifesto. The coalition government consists of three parties: the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Liberal Democrats.
So it’s not surprising how things are going. However, it is unclear how long the process will take. While Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) believes this should happen by 2023, Federal Drugs and Addiction Commissioner Burkhard Blienert said the law could not come into force before the end of 2024.
According to Lauterbach’s plan, around 4 million Germans will consume cannabis by 2021. This means that there is a vibrant illegal market that poses a significant risk to public health.
Lauterbach’s proposed plan includes a number of regulations governing cannabis use among adults in Germany. Adults are allowed to consume and possess 20 to 30 grams of marijuana. According to local media reports, private cultivation of cannabis is limited to 2-3 plants per household. Additionally, cannabis-related cases that are pending under the new law but are no longer illegal will be dismissed. In addition to the usual sales tax, the coalition government plans to introduce a special tax on cannabis consumption. The plan also includes the launch of a national cannabis education and drug prevention program.
The move could spread wildfires across Europe, according to Somai Pharmaceuticals CEO Mike Sassano. “Europe is officially moving towards full legalisation with a bold move by the Federal Ministry of Health. The initial proposal was launched, sparking a public debate that will further shape the rules.
“Germany has long been at the forefront of medical cannabis reform, and once completed, all the rest of the EU will adopt a similar version. As countries put themselves behind Germany, the EU Parliament and the UN will also be forced to admit that their rules need to be Modernization, which is not surprising for these higher-level institutions. 2023 will be a cannabis wildfire in Europe, with Germany leading the way as the EU’s largest economy, and generally setting trends and agendas,” Sassano said.
Germany legalized marijuana for medicinal use in 2017. The Netherlands allows small quantities of cannabis to be sold in coffee shops, but the market is unregulated. According to Mr Olaf, Germany will not try to emulate the Netherlands, but will create a regulated market against which other European countries can measure themselves in the future. Legalizing marijuana for recreational use could generate 4.7 billion euros a year for the German economy, according to a survey conducted last year.