Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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How’s legal marijuana doing in Germany?

Last week, Germany finally legalized small amounts of marijuana. They didn’t set up a market just yet, so it’s only technically decriminalized in the country, but it’s still a huge moment for Europe.

The specifics are that from April 1st on, Germany is allowing 18 year olds and older to possess up to 25 grams of weed in public and grow three plants per household. Then, on July 1st, “social clubs” will be introduced that allow the distribution of weed, but strictly in a not-for-profit way. And weirdly, the plant cannot be smoked on the premises. The payment will come in the form of a membership program.

The clubs will only be meant for people who live in Germany. They’re trying to separate themselves from the chaos of the tourism in Amsterdam.

All in all, it feels rather watered down. On one side, the concern is that the bill doesn’t go far enough. Then there’s the police union who is adamantly against the decriminalization. They believe that this will garner lots of demand that will ultimately surpass the supply quickly, and fuel the black market in a counter-intuitive way.

But that feels like a short term ripple, and if this is a starting point, then hopefully it will be seen as that, and not as something that isn’t working and needs to be shut down.

There’s some political pushback from the Christian Democrats. The leader Friedrich Merz has stated that if their party wins the national elections in 2025 they will reverse the legislation.

Legal weed in Germany is on shaky ground, but hey, at least it’s landed.

Read the original reporting at BBC and AP.

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