German Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Use

German Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Use

Following in the footsteps of Malta and Luxembourg, Germany has achieved a significant drug policy milestone by legalizing recreational cannabis for personal use.

Since the 1st of April, people of legal age can now grow up to three plants for personal use, possess up to 50 grams of marijuana at home and 25 grams in public.

This historical step challenges the taboos of conservatism but does not come without strict and welldefined rules. Reflecting Germany’s weight as a major European power, but also external influences in the formulation of their internal policies.

What you will be able to read throughout this article:

German Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Use – General guidelines:

  • Cannabis use will not be permitted in schools, youth centers, playgrounds or public sports facilities nor within a radius of 100 meters from these spaces;
  • Cannabis will remain forbidden for individuals under 18 years old;
  • Individuals between 18 and 21 years old can possess the maximum of 30 grams;
  • Prior convictions for possession or personal cultivation of up to three plants or 25 grams may be removed from the Federal Central Register;
  • From June 1, non-profit clubs with a maximum of 500 members will be able to cultivate and distribute cannabis to club members only;
  • Consumption on the premises is only allowed to club members;
  • Club members must be German residents and cannot be linked to multiple clubs;
  • Clubs must have protection programmes and protocols to prevent underage use.

The German model is based on two pillars: the first aims at community changes that regulate both cannabis growing and consumption, and the second aims at 5-year pilot projects that will assess the regional impact of legal commercialization in defending public health, protecting younger individuals and combatting the black market.

The Challenges of Legalization

From the conservative political opposition to the paradox of access to cannabis, legalization brings with it challenges that will vary as the process progresses.

The paradox of access is, that if the consumption and possession of substantial amounts of cannabis is allowed, the necessary requirements to do so can make legal access for sporadic users and those who are not residents, including tourists, more difficult.

When it comes regulation of use by young adults between the ages of 18 and 21, the imposition of a maximum THC percentage of 10% could end up supporting the black market by driving consumers in search of illegal, but more standard products, potentially undermining the government’s goals.

Although legalization defends community growing through non-profit clubs, the increase in their affluence may divert this trajectory – resulting in associations being opened for commercial benefit, once again compromising their original purpose and operating on the black market.

Final considerations of German Legalization of Recreational Cannabis Use

The second pillar that underpins legalization goes far beyond pilot experiences at regional level – the major goal is to create a reference model for the rest of the European community.

By analyzing in detail, the patterns of production, distribution and sales over 5 years, there will be data to show whether the government has achieved its initial goals.

By defending the cannabis community and regulated growing, the position taken by Germany will inevitably influence the market and other European states, starting with neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic or Austria, and for this reason we must keep an eye on the future and the challenges and changes it may bring.

Legal transitions may never be widely accepted or immediate, and at the present time we cannot say whether this policy will succeed or not.

While the challenges are many, especially in the battle against the black market, we must believe that it is possible for cannabis to coexist with a favorable political and social environment where the interests of consumers are in balance with government purposes.

You can also contribute for the Green Link. Do you want to write an article and voice your opinion on all things related to the horticulture and cannabis grower community? Send us an email and submit your document. Be a part of this Green Revolution!

1920 1280 The Green Link
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

For performance and security reasons we use Cloudflare
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.