Germany Government Unveils Plan to Legalize Marijuana

Germany’s health minister unveiled a plan today to legalize the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis and to allow it to be sold through licensed retail outlets.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach says he will check with the European Union’s executive commission whether the plan approved by the German government is in line with EU laws and will proceed with legislation “on this basis” if it gets the green light. Lauterbach said the new rules could serve as “a model for Europe”, and will likely take effect in 2024.

The plan calls for cannabis to be grown under license and sold to adults at licensed outlets to combat the black market, Lauterbach said. Individuals would be allowed to grow up to three plants, and to buy or possess 20 to 30 grams of marijuana.

If the legislation comes as planned, “this would be, on the one hand, the most liberal cannabis legalization project in Europe, and on the other hand it would also be the most tightly regulated market,” Lauterbach said.

He said “better youth and health protection” are the key aims of the government’s proposal. “It could be a model for Europe,” which has a patchwork of often restrictive laws, he said.

According to the Associated Press, the government does not plan to set a price, but does intend to set quality requirements,. He left open whether a “cannabis tax” above and beyond the standard sales tax, which could be used to fund information on the risks of the drug, would be levied but said the product shouldn’t be made so expensive that it can’t compete with the black market.

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