Three plants, 25 grams: cannabis legalization is approaching

Three plants, 25 grams
Cannabis legalization is approaching

It has been discussed for a long time, and at noon Health Minister Lauterbach will present plans for cannabis legalization in Germany. What these should look like has already been leaked. Specialist politicians in the coalition are satisfied.

The possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis and the cultivation of three female plants per person for personal consumption should be legal in Germany in the future. According to information from the editorial network Germany (RND), this is what the revised legal plans of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach from the SPD for cannabis legalization provide, which Lauterbach and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir from the Greens will present in Berlin at noon.

In addition, so-called cannabis social clubs are legalized. These associations provide their members with cannabis products from their own cultivation. This model already exists in Spain and Malta.

The legalization will probably not be as far-reaching as originally planned by the traffic light coalition. In their coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP agreed to introduce the “controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops”. There are such cannabis shops in some states of the USA. In October, Lauterbach, as the responsible minister – who himself was originally against cannabis legalization – submitted proposals for this (key points). Since then, supporters have been waiting for a draft law. In order for the EU to approve German cannabis legalization, however, there should initially be no general free sale of cannabis products as previously planned.

The matter is legally difficult: from the outset there were concerns that the traffic light project could fail or be slowed down by international and EU law. For example, the states of the Schengen area have committed themselves in the “Schengen Implementation Agreement” to “prohibiting the illegal export of narcotics of all kinds, including cannabis products, as well as the sale, procurement and delivery of these funds by administrative and criminal means”.

“A belated Easter egg is in the hemp nest!”

Lauterbach said in mid-March that he had received very good feedback on the project from the EU Commission. But the SPD party executive recently came to the conclusion: “For reasons of European law, comprehensive legalization is obviously not feasible in the short term.”

Politicians in the coalition were nevertheless pleased that something is now moving. “The legalization of cannabis: it’s coming,” Lauterbach wrote in advance on Twitter. “A belated Easter egg is in the hemp nest!” tweeted Green health politician Kirsten Kappert-Gonther. “Finally!” wrote the drug policy spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group, Kristine Lütke. She was “very excited”.

BKA chief for classification as an administrative offence

In the discussion about cannabis legalization, the head of the Federal Criminal Police Office, President Holger Münch, campaigned for a possible downgrading of cannabis offenses to administrative offences. “I personally believe that the Portuguese model is one that should be looked at very closely,” the BKA boss told ARD earlier this week. Lowering the criminal prosecution and saying that consumption and possession will only be prosecuted as an administrative offense is an important part of a possible concept.

Possession and use of small amounts of drugs were decriminalized in Portugal in 2001. Since then, both possession and consumption of cannabis have been an administrative offence, but there are no longer any criminal prosecutions for amounts up to 25 grams. Since 2018, the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been legal in the country, but companies need a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture in Lisbon.

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