Germany approves controlled legalization of cannabis use. The German government’s decision aims to decriminalize possession of up to 25 grams and self-cultivation of three marijuana plants.
The Social Democrat Karl Lauterbach, the health minister, expressed optimism about the plan’s passage through parliament by the end of 2023. “I believe we can turn back the black market,” he stated in Berlin.
As Germany approves cannabis use, individuals over 18 can purchase a maximum of 25 grams of cannabis (or up to 50 grams per month) through licensed associations created for this purpose and cultivation.
A significant awareness campaign will be launched about the dangers of THC use in children and adolescents. Preventive programs will expand accordingly.
Karl Lauterbach explained, “Every young person will know: if I use cannabis on a regular basis, I am damaging my brain.”
Lauterbach approach aims to curb the black market’s rising problems due to toxins and high THC doses.
Germany is also facing an increase in underage use and a rise in crime, with 50 percent of drug-related crime in the country connected to cannabis. “We want to limit consumption and make it safer,” said the minister.
Associations licensed to grow cannabis will distribute it at cost price, ensuring quality. Lauterbach expects consumers will choose this option over the black market.
To maintain control, these associations will limit their membership to 500 members each and prohibit advertising. They will also impose consumption limits on driving.
The approval of the bill has sparked controversy in Germany. Cannabis consumer organizations find it falls short, while the Christian Democrat opposition warns of a “loss of control.”
The government accepts the risk of dependence and health risks in cannabis use. “We want to restrict consumption to enhance safety,” said Tino Sorge, spokesperson for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
According to 2021 data from the state statistics office Destatis, 34.7 percent of Germans have used cannabis at some point, while 8.8 percent have used it within the last month.