Features / October 27, 2022

Germany announces plans to legalise recreational cannabis

Image: Getty Images
Features / October 27, 2022

Germany announces plans to legalise recreational cannabis

Words: Ellen Kenny

Oh mein gott, Germany is going to approve of blüntensmoken.

The health minister of Germany has announced plans to legalise recreational cannabis by 2024. According to Karl Lauterbach, Germany wants to make it legal for adults to purchase and own up to 30g of cannabis for recreational use.

The law would also allow adults to grow up to three cannabis plants themselves and allow licensed shops and pharmacies to sell weed. Advertisements about weed would remained banned in Germany, while packaging has to be kept “neutral” looking. The legalisation of cannabis edibles, such as gums or baked goods, is still being looked into by policymakers but seems unlikely.

The plan must first be approved in German parliament and receive approval from the European Commission. The health minister believes the law will likely pass by 2024.

According to the health minister, these plans are coming into place as the current legal framework has fallen short, leading to a “flourishing black market” and encouraging criminality. The justice minister of Germany has said that legalisation of weed will lead to “better quality products and therefore better health protection, as well as relief for our law enforcement, so that they can concentrate on more important things.”

Will Germany be a trendsetter?

The health minister has described these plans as a “model for Europe” when it comes to legalising weed: “If this law comes to pass, it would be the most liberal project to legalise cannabis in Europe, but also the most regulated market.”

Currently, Malta is the only EU country that has legalised recreational cannabis. And despite its reputation, The Netherlands have never legalised weed, but rather Dutch law still technically criminalises the growth and sale of cannabis and simply “tolerates” the sale of mall quantities of cannabis in “coffee shops”. The German model would not just tolerate cannabis use, but try to regulate the market for it.

Some have suggested that these plans in Germany could set in motion a process of weed legalisation across the EU. Germany currently has the largest amount of representatives at the European Parliament, and German lawmakers in the EU are the third most influential group behind France and Spain.

However, Germany is also reported as having very little influence in matters of health, ranking 27th out of 27 countries on the health influence ladder. But never say never. The EU loves a regulated market, and if Germany gets enough support from other large EU states, we could see a domino effect emerge.

I guess if we want to get into Berghain any time soon, we’ll probably have to prove to Germany that we’re cool like them and also love regulated drug markets.

Elsewhere on District: What is the power of Psilocybin?