German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach Wednesday unveiled plans for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in keeping with an election promise made by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Lauterbach presented the Federal Government’s key issues paper, including key regulations: (1) the minimum age limit for sale and purchase shall be 18 years of age; (2) the acquisition and possession of 20 to 30 grams of recreational cannabis for personal consumption is permitted; (3) a special consumption tax for cannabis will be introduced; (4) advertising for cannabis products will be prohibited; and (5) criminal proceedings regarding cannabis shall be ended if they are no longer criminal.
The rules still need to be assessed by the European Commission to ensure the plan is compatible with European Union law. Medical marijuana, in limited circumstances, was legalized in Germany in 2017. Malta became the first country in Europe to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2021.
The move comes after US President Joe Biden announced his marijuana reform this month. Biden declared that Americans who have been convicted for simple marijuana possession under federal law will be pardoned.