Today: April 20, 2024
Today: April 20, 2024

Germany has legalized possession of small amounts of cannabis. But the buzz may not last.

Share This
LA Post: Germany has legalized possession of small amounts of cannabis. But the buzz may not last.
AP
DAVID McHUGH
April 01, 2024

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Marijuana campaigners in Germany lit celebratory joints on Monday as the country liberalized rules on cannabis to allow possession of small amounts.

The German Cannabis Association, which campaigned for the new law, staged a “smoke-in” at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate when the law took effect at midnight. Other public consumption events were scheduled throughout the country, including one in front of the Cologne cathedral and others in Hamburg, Regensburg and Dortmund.

The new law legalizes possession by adults of up to 25 grams (nearly 1 ounce) of marijuana for recreational purposes and allows individuals to grow up to three plants on their own. That part of the legislation took effect Monday.

German residents age 18 and older will be allowed to join nonprofit “cannabis clubs” with a maximum 500 members each starting July 1. Individuals will be allowed to buy up to 25 grams per day, or a maximum 50 grams per month — a figure limited to 30 grams for people under age 21. Membership in multiple clubs won’t be allowed.

The clubs’ costs will be covered by membership fees, which are to be staggered according to how much marijuana members use.

The legislation also calls for an amnesty under which sentences for cannabis-related offenses that will no longer be illegal are to be reviewed and in many cases reversed. Regional authorities worry that the judicial system will be overburdened by thousands of cases.

The law was pushed through by the current coalition of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ Social Democrats, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, against opposition from some of Germany’s federal states and the center-right Christian Democrats. Christian Democratic leader Friedrich Merz has vowed that his party will reverse the legislation if it wins national elections expected in the fall of 2025.

Leading garden stores surveyed by the dpa news agency indicated they would not be adding cannabis plants to their horticultural offerings, and the German Medical Association opposed the law, saying it could have “grave consequences” for the “developmental and life prospects of young people in our country.”

Popular

Live video of man who set himself on fire outside court proves challenging for news organizations

A man who set himself on fire outside the Manhattan courtroom where Donald Trump was on trial tested news organizations on how quickly they could respond to an incident and what to show viewers

Mandisa, Grammy-winning singer and 'American Idol' alum, dies at 47

Contemporary Christian singer Mandisa, who appeared on “American Idol” and won a Grammy for her 2013 album “Overcomer,” has died

Coyotes' move to Salt Lake City elicits opposing responses in 2 cities

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sat next to the former Arizona Coyotes owner in a downtown Phoenix hotel meeting room, trying to put a positive spin on the funeral for a franchise

Taylor Swift drops 15 new songs on double album, 'The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology'

Could there be a Taylor Swift new album rollout without a few additional surprises

Related

Idaho group says it is exploring a ballot initiative for abortion rights and reproductive care

US military strategy tested as Iran-Israel warfare comes out of shadows

Kansas has a new anti-DEI law, but the governor has vetoed bills on abortion and even police dogs

Jonathan Tetelman recalls his journey from a nightclub DJ to an international opera star

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer