Selangor Journal
People meet for “World Stoner Day”, a demonstration with joint smoke-in for the immediate decriminalisation of cannabis, in Berlin, Germany, April 20, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

Germany joins legal cannabis club

BERLIN, Feb 24 — Germany has joined the small group of countries and jurisdictions which have legalised cannabis when the Bundestag passed a law yesterday allowing individuals and voluntary associations to grow and hold limited quantities of the drug.

The law passed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling three-party coalition legalises cultivating up to three plants for private consumption and owning up to 25 grammes of cannabis.

Larger-scale, but still non-commercial, cannabis production will be allowed for members of so-called cannabis clubs with no more than 500 members, all of whom must be adults. Only club members can consume their product.

“We have two goals: to crack down on the black market and improved protection of children and young people,” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said at the start of a rowdy debate where the opposition accused him of promoting drug use.

“You are asserting in all seriousness that by legalising more drugs, we will contain drug use among young people. That is the most stupid thing I have ever heard,” said Christian Democrat legislator Tino Sorge.

An employee of Aurora Deutschland GmbH, a manufacturer of medical cannabis products, inspects a flowering cannabis plant in a greenhouse in Leuna, Germany, on September 11, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

But Lauterbach said that this amounted to “sticking our heads in the sand”: not only had cannabis use soared among young people, whose developing brains were particularly endangered, but drugs on the streets were both stronger and more impure nowadays, greatly increasing their harm.

Some 4.5 million Germans are estimated to use cannabis.

Germany became the ninth country to legalise recreational use of the drug, which is also legal in some sub-national jurisdictions in the United States and Australia.

Many more countries allow its medical use as a painkiller. Cannabis remains illegal for minors, as does consuming it near schools and playgrounds.

Some legislators questioned whether the new regulations would have much impact on dealing since those who are unwilling to grow their own cannabis or join a cannabis club may still prefer to buy the drug.

— Reuters

Employees process cannabis plants at Demecan, the first German company to supply medicinal cannabis to the German Cannabis Agency in Ebersbach, Germany, on June 13, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

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