Health: Cannabis: Ampel plans "legalization light"

In Germany, the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis and the cultivation of a maximum of three plants should be exempt from punishment in the future.

Health: Cannabis: Ampel plans "legalization light"

In Germany, the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis and the cultivation of a maximum of three plants should be exempt from punishment in the future. In addition, the federal government wants to enable the cultivation and sale of the drug in special associations. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) presented revised plans for the legalization project in Berlin. They are less far-reaching than the original traffic light plans.

For the time being, the planned specialist cannabis shops in which Rausch products can be freely sold will not exist. This is only to be tested in a second step and only in a few model regions - with scientific support. The government agreed on this after talks with the EU Commission, it said.

Lauterbach and Özdemir fundamentally defended the legalization plans and reinforced the government's argument that the plan was intended to curb the black market and cut crime. "Nobody should have to buy from dealers without knowing what you're getting," said Özdemir. Lauterbach spoke of a controlled supply of cannabis to adults "within clear limits (...) flanked by preventive measures for young people". The previous cannabis policy had failed.

The new cornerstones for the legalization project that have now been presented are another intermediate step. The next thing to be presented in April is a first concrete draft law to regulate ownership, self-cultivation and associations - the so-called cannabis social clubs. After a vote in the government and a cabinet decision, this would later have to be passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat.

The cornerstones in detail - some things can still change in the legislative process:

The possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis remains unpunished, such a quantity may also be carried in public. A maximum of three "female flowering plants" are permitted in self-cultivation - protected from access by children and young people. "Non-profit" associations with A maximum of 500 members may collectively grow cannabis for recreational purposes and only sell it to members for their own consumption. The minimum age is 18 years. The clubs must appoint youth protection, addiction and prevention officers and are not allowed to advertise themselves. Membership in several clubs is prohibited. A maximum of 25 grams of cannabis per day and a maximum of 50 grams per month may be dispensed per club member. Under 21-year-olds get a maximum of 30 grams per month, and an upper limit on the active ingredient content should also be set for them. The costs should be covered by the membership fees, if necessary an additional amount per gram delivered. Consumption is not permitted in the club rooms, and serving alcohol is also prohibited. In addition, there is a minimum distance for the clubs to schools and daycare centers. Consumption in public near schools or daycare centers is prohibited. In pedestrian zones, smoking is not allowed until 8 p.m.Previous convictions for possession or cultivation of up to 25 grams or a maximum of three plants can be deleted from the federal central register upon request.Minors who are caught with cannabis must take part in intervention and prevention programs.In a In a second step, "commercial supply chains" are to be tried out in model projects in districts and cities in several federal states, from production and distribution to the sale of cannabis in specialist shops. The projects are scientifically monitored, are limited to five years and are limited to the residents of these communities. However, this second pillar of the planned legalization is "probably still subject to notification", according to the federal government. This means that the EU may have a say and it is therefore unclear at the moment whether anything will come of it in the end.

In their coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP agreed to introduce the "controlled sale of cannabis to adults for recreational purposes in licensed shops". Lauterbach had already submitted proposals for this in the autumn. From the start, however, there were concerns that the plans could be thwarted by international and EU law.