Germany has announced plans to legalise the possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use as well as its sale and production.
Following a proposal agreed on Wednesday October 26, by the cabinet, possession of up to 1oz of the substance will become legal, health minister Karl Lauterbach said.
“If this law comes to pass, it would be the most liberal project to legalise cannabis in Europe, but also the most regulated market”, the German health minister, Karl Lauterbach, said at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday. “It could be a model for Europe.”
The overriding goal of making it legal to buy and smoke cannabis in Germany, the Social Democrat politician said, was to better protect young people, who were already consuming the drug in increasing numbers after obtaining it on the black market.
“We don’t want to expand cannabis consumption but to improve the protection of youth and health”, Lauterbach said. With around 4 million people in Germany having tried cannabis at least once over the last 12 months, he added, the current prohibitive model “isn’t working”.
Adults will also be allowed to buy cannabis from licensed premises, with Mr. Lauterbach adding that the market will be tightly regulated.
If Brussels gives the thumbs up then the legalisation will happen, Mr Lauterbach added.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party coalition announced its intention to legalise cannabis for recreational use when it took office at the end of the year, but progress on the law has been slowed down by fears that such a step could contravene European Union law and international treaties.