Germany cannabis legalization
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Germany’s Bundesrat has cleared the final obstacle for the decriminalization of cannabis possession and home cultivation, set to take effect on April 1. 

Under the new law, adults aged 18 and above will be permitted to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and cultivate up to three plants in their homes. Additionally, starting July 1, non-commercial “cannabis clubs” will be authorized to provide a maximum monthly quantity of 50 grams per member to up to 500 individuals. 

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expressed satisfaction with the outcome of a recent decision regarding cannabis legislation, stating, “The fight was worth it.” Formerly posted on X, now known as a different platform, Lauterbach urged responsible use of the new option. He added optimism, hoping that the decision marks the beginning of the end for the black market. 

Government representatives from various federal states engaged in deliberations until the final moments, contemplating the use of their rights in the Bundesrat to establish a “mediation committee” for resolving disagreements with the Bundestag. However, in a midday vote, they opted against this route, avoiding a potential six-month delay in the law’s implementation.

The states expressed concerns about potential court overload, particularly due to an amnesty provision requiring the review of tens of thousands of past cannabis-related cases within a short timeframe. Criticisms also surfaced regarding the permitted quantity of cannabis for possession and the insufficient establishment of prohibition zones around schools and kindergartens.

Responding to feedback, Lauterbach announced forthcoming changes to the law before July 1st. Notable adjustments include less stringent inspection requirements for cannabis clubs, switching from annual to regular inspections, and enhanced addiction prevention measures aimed at alleviating the burden on state authorities.

Despite not meeting all state expectations, the legislation successfully passed the Bundesrat on Friday, supported by federal government parties in every state except Bavaria. This legislation represents the first phase of a two-step plan toward cannabis legalization, with the subsequent phase expected to introduce municipal five-year pilot programs for the sale of state-controlled cannabis in licensed shops.

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