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Germany legalizes cannabis.



Germany has taken another big step towards legalizing cannabis, becoming one of the countries with the most liberal cannabis laws in Europe.

Comprehensive Reuters and dpa news agency reported on February 24 that the German Bundestag (lower house) passed a bill on the 23rd with 407 votes in favor, 226 votes against, and 4 abstentions to allow individuals and non-profit groups to Cultivation and possession of limited quantities of cannabis. The new regulations are expected to be passed by the Senate on March 22, joining a small number of countries and local jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis. Many young Berliners gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate in the city center early that morning to celebrate.





The law would allow the legal cultivation of up to three cannabis plants for private use, as well as the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis. Members of so-called "cannabis clubs" of no more than 500 people will be allowed to produce cannabis on a larger scale, but will still be required to use it non-commercially. All members must be adults and only club members may consume their products.



"We have two goals: to crack down hard on the black market and to strengthen the protection of children and young people." Faced with the opposition's accusation of "promoting drug abuse," German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said in a heated debate argued at the beginning.

CDU MP Tino Sorge didn't buy it: "You seriously claim that by pushing for more legalization of drugs we will be able to curb the trend of young people taking drugs. This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.



It is estimated that about 4.5 million people in Germany smoke marijuana out of a population of more than 80 million.

Lauterbach said this is tantamount to "burying your head in the sand": not only has the number of young people using marijuana surged, threatening brain development, but the drugs on the streets are now stronger, less pure and much more harmful.

When the Scholz government came to power in 2021, it announced plans to legalize recreational marijuana. On August 16 last year, the German government approved the controversial bill, leaving it to be approved by parliament. Reuters said that if the bill is passed in parliament, Germany will become one of the countries with the most liberal cannabis laws in Europe.



Germany is not the first European country to promote the legalization of marijuana. Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and the Netherlands have already implemented similar bills. Currently, Uruguay, Canada, Mexico and other countries around the world have legalized recreational marijuana, and at least 23 states in the United States have done so. In Europe, many countries have legalized cannabis for limited medical purposes, with Germany enacting such a policy in 2017. Several other countries in Europe have legalized cannabis for general use. For example, at the end of 2021, Malta became the first country in Europe to allow limited cultivation and possession of cannabis for personal use.



The report pointed out that Germany has joined the cannabis legalization club, becoming the ninth country to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. But Germany still prohibits minors from smoking marijuana, as well as smoking it near schools and playgrounds.

It is worth noting that although the German government has used names such as "cracking down on the black market" and "strengthening supervision" to legalize marijuana, other countries have previously legalized marijuana under similar names, and the results were not impressive.

Some lawmakers have also questioned how much of an impact the new rules will have on the cannabis trade, as those unwilling to grow their own cannabis or join a "cannabis club" may still prefer to pay for it.

Hamburg Interior Minister Andy Grote, a member of the Social Democratic Party, once warned: "Illegal cannabis may still have a huge demand because it is more potent and cheaper, and (after legalization) the black market and the legal market may Mixed together." Furthermore, regulation of cannabis use will require "a comprehensive cannabis oversight official body" to ensure that all its regulations are adhered to.

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Post time: Apr-03-2024