Germany legalizes marijuana possession for private use | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

German hashish campaigners and aficionados lit celebratory joints at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate at midnight early Monday, gathering for a authorized “smoke-in” to mark the nation’s newly liberalized legislation on marijuana coming into impact.

Germany’s authorities handed laws permitting adults to own small quantities of the drug, making it the biggest European Union nation to legalize possession for leisure use. The buy and sale of hashish continues to be prohibited and might result in fines and imprisonment.

Adults can now carry as much as 25 grams (practically an oz) of marijuana and preserve as much as 50 grams at dwelling. They may develop as much as three crops for private use below the legislation that was handed by Germany’s federal council final month and took impact Monday.

Adults who don’t wish to develop their very own crops, nonetheless, can be part of “cannabis clubs” beginning in July. They are licensed nonprofit rising cooperatives capped at 500 members who should “actively participate in the cultivation” to entry the membership’s hashish. “The law does not provide for passive membership that is aimed solely at purchasing cannabis,” the Bundesrat, successfully Germany’s higher home, mentioned in its announcement of the legislation.

Marijuana has barely extra restrictions for younger adults between ages 18 and 21, and it’s nonetheless unlawful for minors.

“Today, the state is ending decades of police harassment of harmless cannabis users. This is a huge step in the right direction,” mentioned Georg Wurth, director of the German Cannabis Association, which has been campaigning for hashish legalization for many years. “The whole world is looking at Germany today. There will be many imitators.”

Though the quantities permitted in Germany are comparatively small — adults are allowed to own as much as three ounces of hashish flower in New York, for instance — the brand new legislation nonetheless makes Germany some of the lenient nations on marijuana within the European Union.

Malta additionally has among the many bloc’s most open legal guidelines on marijuana, permitting adults to hold as much as seven grams, although smoking in public continues to be prohibited. Luxembourg final 12 months started permitting residents to domesticate hashish for private use. Despite the Netherlands’ status for being relaxed on marijuana, it’s nonetheless unlawful to own or promote marijuana there. But is does have a coverage of “toleration” that enables espresso outlets to promote small portions of the drug.

At the Brandenburg Gate on the flip of midnight from Sunday to Monday, individuals danced and performed music, held indicators and took pictures with a big faux hashish plant, whereas filling the air above them with a cloud of smoke. “We don’t want to be criminals!” learn one attendee’s signal.

“Celebrate the end of the cannabis ban with us legally! You can ignite at 12 a.m.” the German Cannabis Association’s Berlin chapter wrote on social media to advertise its occasion.

The laws was introduced by Germany’s ruling coalition, made up of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democrats.

“Cannabis consumption was already around yesterday and has been increasing. Now it is coming out of the taboo zone,” wrote Health Minister Karl Lauterbach of the SPD on X. He mentioned the brand new laws is best for dependancy assist, youth prevention and combating the black market.

Some throughout the federal authorities expressed issues in regards to the legislation main as much as and after its passage.

Friedrich Merz, opposition chief and head of the Christian Democratic Union, in a March 24 assertion lodged issues about site visitors dangers brought on by “stoned drivers,” youth well being dangers and bureaucratic and judicial burdens if previous felony convictions are overturned. He has vowed to overturn the legislation ought to his celebration win in nationwide elections subsequent 12 months, native media reported.