Germany gets closer to legalizing marijuana – media
Purchasing and possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana will cease to be an offense in Germany in the near future, local media has claimed.
On Wednesday, the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) published a report citing a plan penned by German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to legalize cannabis.
If implemented, the changes would make it legal for Germans aged 18 and older to cultivate up to two cannabis plants, according to the outlet. The new regulations would reportedly dictate that the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s principle psychoactive compound, should not exceed 15%.
That limit, however, would be lowered to 10% for consumers aged between 18 and 21 to prevent “cannabis-induced brain damage,” as reported by RND.
Regardless of potency, Germans would reportedly only be allowed to possess no more than 20 grams of the substance.
Underage Germans caught in possession of marijuana would not face any legal consequences but could reportedly still be forced to take a drug abuse prevention course, while the substance found on those caught would be confiscated.
The RND report said that recreational cannabis would be available not only at licensed stores but also possibly at regular pharmacies and online. However, cannabis vendors would have to be located a certain distance away from schools and other youth facilities.
Anyone selling synthetic cannabinoids, or genuine plant material but without an appropriate license, would still find themselves subject to prosecution.
Advertising of marijuana would be strictly prohibited under the plan, as reported by the outlet.
According to RND, with these measures, the country’s Health Ministry is expecting to severely undermine the existing black market.
The policy also reportedly envisages all income from the sale of cannabis being taxable, with a regular VAT plus a special tax applicable. Tax rates would depend on the strain’s THC content, with the authorities seeking to ensure that the price charged to consumers would approach the average seen in the black market.
“According to a preliminary assessment, international trade in recreational cannabis is not possible in line with international legal frameworks,” the ministry noted in its plan, as reported by RND. In light of this, Germany’s demand for marijuana would have to be satisfied exclusively by domestic producers.
The proposals are currently being fine-tuned by several other ministries, the outlet claimed.