The German cabinet approved a draft bill Wednesday named “Act on the Controlled Use of Cannabis and Amending Other Regulations” that would legalize the controlled use of recreational cannabis.
The legislation, based on a paper presented by Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir, seeks to address the limitations of the current drug policy on cannabis use. The plan, first introduced in 2022, has two pillars. The first pillar focuses on allowing private and non-commercial self-cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption among adults, while the second pillar aims to establish a model project for licensed specialist shops to regulate sales. The primary goals of the law are to improve health protection, strengthen cannabis-related education and protect children and young people.
According to Article 9 of the bill, adults will be permitted to privately cultivate a limited quantity of cannabis, either individually or in non-commercial associations, for controlled personal consumption. The law establishes a wide-ranging prohibition on advertising and sponsorship for recreational cannabis and cultivation associations, with the aim of curbing excessive promotion and commercialization.
While the law aims to promote responsible cannabis use and address existing challenges, it has sparked intense debate and encountered opposition. Opponents argue that the move could lead to increased cannabis consumption, particularly among vulnerable groups such as children and adolescents. Critics of cannabis legalization also argue that the law is overly detailed, leading to an increased burden on the judiciary with numerous court proceedings. The Trade Union of the Police also expressed concerns about the additional strain on law enforcement.