Germany set to legalize recreational use of cannabis

A person holds a joint as activists gather to mark the annual world cannabis day and to protest for legalization of marijuana, in front of the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany.

Germany on Wednesday set out plans to legalise cannabis, in a move promised by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government that would make it one of the first countries in Europe to make weed legal.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented a cornerstone paper on planned legislation to regulate the controlled distribution and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes among adults.

Acquiring and possessing up to 20 to 30 grams of recreational cannabis for personal consumption would also be made legal.

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The coalition government struck an agreement last year to introduce legislation during its four-year term to allow the controlled distribution of cannabis in licensed shops.

Lauterbach did not give a timeline for the plan, which would make Germany the second European Union country to legalise cannabis after Malta.

Many European countries, including Germany, have already legalised cannabis for limited medicinal purposes. Others have decriminalised its general use, while stopping short of making it legal.

According to the paper, private self-cultivation would be permitted to a limited extent. Ongoing investigations and criminal proceedings connected to cases no longer illegal would be terminated.

The government also plans to introduce a special consumption tax, as well as developing cannabis-related education and prevention work.

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