On Wednesday, the German government unveiled plans for the legalisation of recreational cannabis for adults, though many details remain to be worked out and must be reconciled with European Union law before legislation is introduced.
Following approval by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced plans to allow for controlled distribution and recreational use of cannabis among adults, making it one of the first European governments to do so.
Adults would be allowed to possess up to 30 grammes of marijuana under the proposed legislation, and limited amounts of cannabis would be grown and sold to adults in “licenced specialist shops” and possibly pharmacies.
The health minister, however, warned that many obstacles remained in the complex legislative process, adding that Germany’s three coalition parties will now assess whether the plan is “internationally acceptable” and “in accordance with international law.”
I could well imagine that legalisation will then be achieved in 2024 if everything goes well,” the health minister added.
According to Reuters, Berlin will submit the paper to the European Commission for pre-approval and will only draught legislation after the Commission approves the plan.
If the EU Commission rejects Germany’s current approach, our government should look for alternatives. “We did our best,” said Niklas Kouparanis, CEO of Bloomwell Group, one of Germany’s largest cannabis companies, according to Reuters.
If the EU rejects legalisation, Germany should have a backup plan, Kouparanis said, adding that cannabis imports should be permitted because domestic cultivation will not be able to meet demand in the short term.
Lauterbach, a trained physician, admitted to having tried cannabis: “I can only say that I have tried it.” That has also been made public. However, I am not a user and would not benefit from this regulation because I only took it to see how it works.