The German Federal Ministry of Health has recently published new guidelines for a possible legalization of cannabis in Germany. The legalization is intended to be rolled out in two stages. Based on the guidelines, the federal government is working on a draft law.
Pillar 1: Private and collective, non-profit cultivation for personal use
The proposals envisage approving the acquisition of up to 25 grams of cannabis per day and per person, and a maximum of 50 grams per month, for those over 21 years old. The transfer to young people under 21 years of age is limited to a quantity of 30 grams per month. In addition, the cultivation of up to three plants for personal use and the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis will be legalized.
The Federal Ministry of Health has established conditions for non-profit organizations to jointly cultivate cannabis and distribute it to members for personal use under clear legal guidelines. Active participation of members is desired, but the commissioning of third parties is excluded. However, it is possible to employ staff. In addition to the harvested recreational cannabis, seeds and cuttings may also be provided for personal cultivation. State authorities are to monitor compliance with quantity, quality, and youth protection regulations on site. Membership in multiple organizations is prohibited, and the number of members per association is limited to 500. The costs shall be covered by membership fees.
Consumption of cannabis in the clubs is prohibited. Furthermore, consumption around kindergartens and schools, as well as in pedestrian zones until 8 pm, is prohibited.
Decriminalization and amnesty
The law enables convictions that are exclusively due to acts with cannabis that are no longer punishable (possession of up to 25g/cultivation of up to 3 female flowering plants) to be deleted from the Federal Central Register upon application. Ongoing investigations and criminal proceedings related to these acts will be terminated with the entry into force of the law.
Another important point concerns youth protection. Cannabis shall only be provided to adults over the age of 18, and sales to minors shall remain punishable. In addition, it is planned to introduce a ban on advertising cannabis. Furthermore, mandatory participation in prevention programs for minors who possess or consume cannabis is planned.
Pillar 2: Regional model project with commercial supply chains
Another important pillar of the planned legalization concerns commercial supply. In selected regions of Germany, cannabis products produced and sold commercially through legal channels shall be produced both by cultivation and processing by state-approved companies. This model is intended to gather experience for a possible nationwide implementation and evaluation.
However, the legalization of cannabis remains a controversial topic, and it remains to be seen whether and in what form the proposals of the Federal Ministry of Health will actually be implemented. They undoubtedly represent an important step towards a possible legalization.
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