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German parliament legalises cannabis for personal use

From April 2024, over-18s will be permitted to carry 25g of weed in public and 50g in private residences

  • 27 February 2024
German parliament legalises cannabis for personal use

Germany's parliament has given the green light to a new law that will allow those over-18 to possess cannabis for recreational use.

In new legislation, approved by the Bundestag on Friday (February 23), adults in Germany will be able to smoke cannabis in public — with users being permitted to carry 25 grams of weed in public spaces, and 50g in private residences.

The new rules are set to come in from April 1, with the BBC reporting that smoking cannabis near schools and sports grounds will be prohibited.

Historically, possession of cannabis for recreational use has been punishable by law in Germany, though the report points out that many police “turn a blind eye to smoking in public.”

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Under the new legislation, cannabis will be sold and grown in limited quantities by non-commercial members clubs dubbed “cannabis social clubs.” Membership will only be available to German residents, and consumption onsite will not be permitted.

Households will be legally allowed to own and grow up to three marijuana plants, though the BBC notes that “legal cannabis cafes will not suddenly spring up all over the country."

As usage has soared amongst young people, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has said he wishes to remove revenue from illegal markets distributing the drug and protect users from “contaminated cannabis.”

The German government has plans to assess and review the impact of the new law, eventually leading to the licensed sale of cannabis.

Read this next: Swiss capital Bern considers legalising cocaine

The legalisation of cannabis has been an ongoing debate in Germany for many years.

Talks of legalisation in Germany were first publicised in 2021 under the new coalition government and have been in discussion ever since.

The new legislation still faces criticism from within the German coalition, with Simone Borchardt of the conservative CDU pointing to warnings from doctors, police and psychotherapists, according to the BBC.

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), as of today, five members of the EU, are introducing or planning to introduce recreational use of cannabis including Czechia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Belle Richardson is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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