Germany outlined plans earlier in the week to legalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use.
Under a proposal agreed by the cabinet, possession of up to 1oz of the substance will become legal, health minister Karl Lauterbach said.
Adults will be allowed to buy cannabis from dispensaries, people will be allowed to grow up to three plants at home, and farmers will be allowed to cultivate it for sale.
Lauterbach, of the ruling Social Democrats (SPD), presented a survey that estimates that about 4 million adults use cannabis in Germany. The data suggests there is a huge black market and organized crime involved in the trade.
Germany admits current policy on cannabis does not limit consumption
Lauterbach said that Germany’s drug policy had to be renewed because the current policies weren’t successful in limiting consumption. His aim was to evoke better health policies as well as increased protection for minors.
The health minister commented that cannabis consumers were “falling into an undertow of crime.”
He made clear that Germany was not trying to imitate the Dutch model, as the country didn’t have a regulated market.
Rather, the plan signified “the most liberal legalization of cannabis in Europe”, while also entailing “the most regulated market” in the EU. This approach could become a model for Europe, Lauterbach stated.
The Green Party, which governs in coalition with the SPD and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FPD), has stated that these are important points for a legislative draft on the legalization of cannabis. The party has long been an advocate for the legalization of cannabis.
Malta was the first EU country to legalize cannabis for personal use
In December 2021, Malta became the first EU nation that legalized cannabis for personal use.
Malta’s parliament approved a legal reform that gives citizens the ability to grow and possess specific amounts of marijuana. Citizens 18 and over can possess up to seven grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants in their homes.
Any Maltese citizens in possession of between 7 and 28 grams will be fined 100 euros. The fine is raised to 235 euros if they are found using the drug in public, and 300 to 500 euros if they are using it in the presence of children.
In Greece, the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is prohibited. In a recent interview with Greek Reporter Minister for Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis warned “This is illegal and you will be arrested.”
He added that Greece expects huge investments in the production of medical cannabis which the government hopes would add up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion) annually to state revenue.
“The goal is for Greece to become the top European country in the production of medical cannabis. Greece’s environment is friendly for this particular plant and we think we will have a natural advantage,” Georgiadis told Greek Reporter.