Green light for green: “Germany says yes to cannabis!”

Published On: 26.February.2024Categories: Legal2 min read
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Christina Schröder writes about legal topics for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

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 A historic day in the Bundestag

In a landmark decision, the Bundestag passed the long-awaited cannabis law after a lively and controversial debate. A clear majority of 407 MPs voted in favour of legalization, while 226 voted against. This marks a turning point in German drug policy, moving away from criminalization towards a controlled and responsible approach to cannabis.

What is changing?

The new law, a milestone for Germany, aims to decriminalize the use of cannabis and at the same time strengthen health protection. It allows adults to legally possess and consume cannabis and to cultivate it privately and non-commercially. Particularly noteworthy is the increase in the permitted possession quantity from 25 to 50 grams, a step that responds to the reality of home cultivation.

The debate: between science and concern

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach emphasized that scientific findings have changed his position: Instead of punishment and taboo, the focus should now be on education and protection, especially of young people. But not everyone is convinced. Critics, particularly from the ranks of the CDU/CSU and AfD, warn of the health risks and potential negative consequences of legalization.

A step forward, but still a long way to go

Despite the celebrations, it is clear that the work is not yet done. The introduction of non-commercial cultivation associations, which will be subject to strict rules, and the planned evaluations show that the law is an experiment whose effects need to be closely monitored. There is also criticism from those who would have liked to see more comprehensive legalization and who feel that the law is too bureaucratic.

The future of cannabis in Germany

With the passing of the Cannabis Act, Germany is breaking new ground. There are high hopes that this step will not only curb the black market and improve health protection, but also promote a more rational, enlightened approach to the substance. The planned education campaign and strict regulations are intended to ensure that legalization does not lead to an increase in consumption, particularly among young people.

While the exact timetable for its entry into force is still uncertain, it is clear that Germany is taking a bold step towards a more modern drug policy with this law. The focus is now on the future, on the implementation and long-term effects of this historic decision.