Frankfurt, Germany, Aug 16 (EFE).- A draft bill that would decriminalize the consumption and cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis for adults in Germany was unveiled by the German government on Wednesday.
The legislation, which the three-way coalition government had pledged to introduce during election campaigning in 2021, still needs to be approved by the country’s parliament, the Bundesrat, where conservative groups have opposed the move.
At a press conference to unveil the bill, health minister Karl Lauterbach said it “marks a turning point in an unfortunately failed cannabis drug policy.”
“The aim is to reduce the black market and drug-related crime, to curb dealing in adulterated or toxic substances, and to reduce the number of users,” Lauterbach said, adding that consumption will still be prohibited for under 18s, while young adults will only be able to consume the drug “to a limited extent.”
“No one should misunderstand the law. Cannabis consumption will be legalized. But it will still be dangerous,” the health minister said.
Agriculture minister Cem Özdemir praised the “significant step” towards a “progressive, reality-based drug policy.”
“The law ensures the overdue decriminalization of the many people who use cannabis solely for personal use and at the same time finally strengthens the protection of minors,” he said.
Under the law, people over the age of 18 would be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and grow a maximum of three plants at home for personal use.
People will also be allowed to grow the plant in so-called cultivation associations.
Cannabis clubs will be allowed to sell the drug, although consumption inside the clubs or within 200-meters would be prohibited.
The clubs will be limited to 500 members, who must be permanent residents in Germany.
Consumption will also be banned within 200 meters of schools, children’s and youth facilities, children’s playgrounds, and in publicly accessible sports facilities. EFE