Germany: The Story of Cannabis Legalisation That Will Happen in 2024

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Germany has been working to combine the greatest aspects of legalising cannabis for recreational use for about a year now. While Germany has been preparing the draft law PiIlar 1 since 2022 without coming to a consensus on the legislation, Germany has legalised the use of cannabis for medical purposes since 2017. The first draft law legalising adult recreational cannabis use was given by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to Commissioner Olaf Scholz in October 2022, with the understanding that the government could move forward with the legislation after it received permission from the European Commission.

According to Minister Lauterbach, 4 million people in Germany consume cannabis, indicating that the illegal market for cannabis products is constantly growing. Additionally, the minister told the international station Deutsche Welle that Germany has the most permissive cannabis laws in Europe, which have resulted in a market for cannabis that is secure and well-regulated.

What did the legalisation scheme originally entail?

Legalizing cannabis has the backing of three political parties: the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party (Die Grünen), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). A draft law permitting adults over the age of eighteen to purchase and possess up to twenty to thirty grams of cannabis for personal use was presented by the coalition administration. Additionally, the draft bill established the legalization of cannabis production, possession, and distribution inside a state-regulated market.

In the original idea, individuals over 21 could buy cannabis with 15% THC, while those between the ages of 18 and 21 could buy it with 10% THC. The law planned to allow up to three plants of cannabis to be grown for personal use, according to information leaked to the German media. Simultaneously, the draft bill proposed granting certain permits to pharmacists and specialty shops so they could sell cannabis goods.

Germany plans to legalise recreational cannabis - BBC News

Modifications to the proposed legislation

Following intervention by the European Commission, the draft law was updated in April 2024, permitting personal cannabis growing but removing licenses for retail distribution. Rather, they suggest starting non-profit “cannabis clubs,” which would be a lot like the social clubs that grow marijuana in Spain and be able to register up to 500 members. An annual fee may be paid by the members to obtain cannabis. The cost of the paid subscription varies according on how many people join the cannabis club. Additionally, the amended cannabis draft bill permits those over the age of 18 to purchase cannabis products and become members of cannabis clubs. Up to 50 grams will be available for purchase by those who are over 21.

Also, Federal Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, stated that cannabis legalization in Germany will have been applied by the end of 2023. However, the Commissioner of Narcotic Drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health stated that the law will probably be applied around 2024.

According to Agricultural Minister Cem Özdemir, there are specific boundaries imposed by the European Commission that must be adhered to, as reported by the independent worldwide news agency Associated Press. Meanwhile, German authorities will exert every effort to legalize adult recreational cannabis use.

The German federal government, the Bundesregierung, adopted the draft law in August 2024 and sent it to the Bundesrat for additional explanations and changes by the individual states.

The Lower House of Parliament appears to have established a consensus over the legalization of cannabis use for recreational purposes, based on recent developments. According to Carmen Wegge, a Social Democratic member of the Lower House of Parliament, a decision on legalization is anticipated in December 2024, as she stated on X, formerly Twitter. According to her description, the decision to legalize is not simple, and every effort is being made to create a better measure that serves the interests of all parties.

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The German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) cites new information regarding the revised draft law on adult recreational cannabis usage from Kirsten Kappert Gonther, the Green Party’s health spokesman. According to the new data, people will be allowed to possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis, which will reduce the 200–100 meter exclusion zone for cannabis usage outside of schools, daycare institutions, and playgrounds. Additionally, possession of up to 25–50 grams of cannabis in public locations and 50–60 grams in private areas will be prosecuted as administrative offenses; any amount beyond these limits will be prosecuted as a criminal violation.

In March 2025, the Ministry of Transportation will release the THC thresholds for drivers. The research indicates that legalization of cannabis will be passed by April 1st, 2025, and that cannabis clubs may operate on July 1st of the same year. This week, the Bundestag is anticipated to vote on the draft law after it is released. The amended draft law will next be subject to a period of approval by the Bundesrat, the German parliament’s legal body.

We hope that, in light of the revelation, this process will not result in an April Fools’ joke for 2025, but rather in a serious endeavor including the contentious cannabis plant that will be implemented in other European countries as well, like Greece.

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One thought on “Germany: The Story of Cannabis Legalisation That Will Happen in 2024

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