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15 July, 2024
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Germany legalizes limited cannabis use, joining global trend

New law permits cultivation of up to three plants for private consumption, raising debate on its impact on the black market


Germany passed a law on Friday legalizing the cultivation and possession of limited amounts of cannabis, joining a small group of countries and jurisdictions that have taken similar steps, according to a report in Reuters. The law, backed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz's three-party coalition, permits individuals and voluntary associations to grow up to three cannabis plants for private use and own up to 25 grams of the drug.

Larger-scale, non-commercial cannabis production is allowed for members of "cannabis clubs," limited to 500 adult members who can consume the product within the club. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach emphasized the goals of cracking down on the black market and improving protection for children and young people during a contentious debate where opposition members accused him of promoting drug use.

Critics, such as Christian Democrat legislator Tino Sorge, challenged the assertion that legalizing more drugs would contain drug use among young people. Lauterbach countered by highlighting the increasing cannabis use among young individuals, the heightened potency and impurities of street drugs, and the need to address the issue rather than ignore it.

An estimated 4.5 million Germans are cannabis users. Germany now becomes the ninth country to legalize recreational cannabis use, following others like Canada and Uruguay. While many countries allow medical cannabis use, the drug remains illegal for minors, and restrictions exist around consumption near schools and playgrounds. Some lawmakers questioned the effectiveness of the new regulations in curbing illegal dealing, as those uninterested in growing or joining a cannabis club may still opt to buy the drug.

[Source: Reuters]

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