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On Wednesday, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach introduced a document regarding plans for a measure on the subject. The legislation would create regulations for the controlled disbursement and consumption of cannabis for adults to use in a recreational manner. It would also be legal to get and hold onto up to 20 to 30 grams of recreational cannabis for personal use.
The country’s Federal Cabinet reportedly approved the plan, but now must be delivered to the European Commission and then legislators, so it isn’t a finished product yet.
Germany took steps to make this change in the past. The latest move comes after the coalition government secured a deal last year to put forward a measure to allow certain stores to carry cannabis. It’s not known how long it will take for the proposal to go into effect.
The only other European Union country that has legalized cannabis is Malta, making the United States an outlier on the practice when compared to Europe.
In the United States, Guam, Washington, D.C., as well as nineteen states, have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Colorado was the first state to take such action when Coloradans voted on a ballot measure to make its recreational use and the act of selling the substance legal in 2012.
President Joe Biden took further steps this month to pardon people who have been convicted of simple marijuana possession on a federal level. The move applied to around 6,500 people and was considered by some as an attempt to appease and draw support from the president’s leftist Democratic supporters. A senior White House official, however, told the press that no Americans are in jail for simple marijuana possession.
Multiple European nations have legalized marijuana use for restricted medicinal use. Germany also took this step, and has allowed such utilization since 2017.
Every EU Member State considers possessing marijuana for personal use as a violation, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. However, more than one-third of the states don’t permit imprisonment as a punishment for minor violations.
Last year, Malta made it legal for people to grow and use cannabis for personal purposes. Adults are permitted to have up to seven grams of marijuana on them and cultivate up to four of the plants in their houses. However, public smoking of marijuana or smoking the substance in the presence of children is not allowed.
The country’s Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech was originally in favor of the legislation, but then cautioned it would “only lead to the strengthening of the illegal market, with organised crime taking advantage.”