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German Parliament Votes To Legalize Cannabis For Personal Use

23.02.2024 18:27

Health Minister Lauterbach defends controversial law, says partial legalization will be more effective in combating black market, and protecting youth and children from potential harm.

German lawmakers on Friday voted in favor of partial legalization of cannabis, despite concerns raised by health experts and police unions.

Some 407 lawmakers – mostly from Chancellor Olaf Scholz's left-liberal coalition government – voted in favor of the bill, while 226 conservative and far-right lawmakers voted against it. Four lawmakers abstained.

Before the vote, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach called on the lawmakers to support the new legislation, arguing that the previous policy of criminalizing cannabis had failed, as its consumption continued to rise in recent years.

"Today we're adopting a very important law, which will fundamentally change our cannabis control policy. With the new legislation, our first goal is to fight the black market. Our second goal is to better protect the youth and children," he said, adding that the new legislation will also prevent toxic products being sold by criminal groups.

Under the new bill, individuals age 18 and above would be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis. The self-cultivation of up to three plants at home for personal consumption would also be permitted.

Non-profit associations, with a maximum of 500 members, would be allowed to grow cannabis and distribute it to members. A member could get a maximum of 50 grams of cannabis per month, according to the new legislation.

As part of measures to protect children and young people, consumption of cannabis would be prohibited within 100 meters of schools, playgrounds, youth centers, and sports facilities. The minimum sentence for selling cannabis to young people would be increased to two years in prison. -

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