Cannabis: Berlin paves way for legalization for recreational use


CannabisGermany paves way for legalization for recreational use

To keep an election promise, Berlin is building a framework to legalize the cannabis trade. The final word belongs to the European Commission.

The German health minister, Karl Lauterbach, justified the reform, which would make his country the most liberal in Europe with regard to cannabis, by the desire to “get better protection for children and young people”.


Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced on Wednesday that the German government had agreed to a framework for legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use, subject to the approval of European legislation. The minister described the main lines of the plan as placing the production and trade of cannabis under “general control” and specifically authorizing the purchase and possession of “a maximum of 30 grams” for personal consumption.

The document provides for “public control of the supply chain” of cannabis, with the aim of “guaranteeing health protection and curbing organized crime and the black market”. It regulates the “production, distribution and trade of recreational cannabis within the framework of state-controlled licences”.

However, use by persons under the age of 18 is strictly prohibited.

In 2024, “if all goes well”

The minister justified this reform, which would make Germany one of the most liberal countries in Europe, by the desire to “get better protection for children and young people”, judging that policy in this area has so far been “not really effective”. “If everything goes well, I think it will be legalized in 2024,” the Social-Democracy Minister underlined.

But everything depends on the choice of the European Commission. “We are at the stage of examining whether the main lines we have drawn in this document are compatible with international and European laws,” underlined Karl Lauterbach. He noted that unless the European Commission gives its approval, the document does not constitute a text of law.

Legalizing cannabis is a major reform promised by the coalition government between the Social Democrats, the Greens and the liberal FDP.


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