Germany has legalized the use of cannabis for recreational purposes

The recent decision of the German parliament to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes is a significant turning point not only for this country, but also for the whole of Europe. This decision proves that Germany takes a progressive position in the field of cannabis and related reforms. The parliamentary vote, with 407 members voting in favour, 226 against and 4 abstentions, reflects a deep-rooted shift in public and government attitudes towards cannabis policy. This legislation means a comprehensive transition to the regulation of the use of cannabis, so the Hempo CBD team decided to inform the readers of their blog about the changes in the cannabis policy in Germany.

Straipsnio turinys

    Note: This and other articles on Hempo's blog are for informational purposes only. In Lithuania, tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) is classified as a class 1 narcotic substance, so it is illegal and dangerous to health. The permissible limit of THC in CBD products in Lithuania is <0.2%.

    Main provisions of the law

    Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition government, which includes the center-left Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party and the Greens, initiated these changes to address the complexities of cannabis prohibition. 

    According to this law, from 2024 April 1 adults can carry up to 25 g of cannabis in public places and up to 50 g in their home. This means that the strict marijuana laws that have been in force in Germany until now are being relaxed. In addition, individuals are now allowed to grow up to three different cannabis plants for recreational use, ending the previous zero tolerance policy.

    According to this legal act, "cannabis clubs" can be established in Germany from now on. This describes a concept whereby German residents can now join clubs whose members have the ability to grow cannabis or distribute it to other club members. True, only persons who have reached the age of majority and are permanent residents of Germany who have lived in the country for at least 6 months will be able to become members of the club. Under this model, the aim will be to ensure that the use and distribution of cannabis remains a regulated activity, thereby reducing the risks associated with unregulated use and distribution of cannabis. The concept represents a well-thought-out balance between access and control of cannabis, which will aim to prevent the abuse of cannabis and protect public health.

    Basic rules of "cannabis clubs"

    • You must be a member of the club to obtain cannabis for recreational use;
    • One person can only be a member of one club;
    • Clubs are considered non-profit organizations and each of these clubs must be licensed;
    • One club can have no more than 500 members;
    • One club member can be given no more than 25 g. of cannabis per day or no more than 50 g. of hemp per month;
    • Club members younger than 22 can be given no more than 30 g. of hemp per month;
    • Cannabis cannot be shared with people who do not belong to the club;
    • Clubs can only sell cannabis flowers (trade in other cannabis products is not allowed);
    • Clubs cannot transport or otherwise deliver cannabis;
    • Clubs cannot advertise or seek sponsors.

    The European Cannabis Legalization Landscape

    Germany has become the third European country (after Malta and Luxembourg) to legalize marijuana (main component - THC) for recreational purposes such policies. This decision allows Germany to become a leader in drug policy reform in the European Union. Although the Netherlands is famous all over the world for its marijuana cafes, the country continues to prohibit the possession and cultivation of cannabis, so the full legalization of cannabis shows the uniqueness of Germany's approach compared to the Netherlands .

    The legalization of the recreational use of cannabis in Germany reflects a wider global change in the attitude towards the use of cannabis - we are sure that this will undoubtedly affect the recognition and legalization of CBD as a food supplement in many European countries in the near future.

    Different public opinions

    t49>. The split underscores the complexity of the drug reform debate, with some in the public concerned about public health, safety, and the potential social consequences of the decision. 

    Critics of the bill, including the conservative Christian Democratic Union and medical associations, argue that legalizing cannabis could encourage more marijuana use among young people and downplay the risks associated with cannabis use. Opponents of the law also point to a potential increase in addictions, stressing the need for caution. 

    Supporters of the law remain calm

    Despite these concerns, the health minister defends the legislation and says it is necessary to reform Germany's drug policy. The doubling of the number of adult cannabis users in Germany over the past decade shows the ineffectiveness of the prohibition policy that has been in place until now and highlights the need for a new approach in the country that takes into account both public health and the realities of drug use. The government insists the passed law focuses on protecting children and young people, with strict rules that include fines for using cannabis near schools and playgrounds.

    Supporters of this legislation say that legalizing and regulating cannabis could have many benefits, such as reducing the burden on the criminal justice system and the black market, and making cannabis safer to use. 

    Allowing adults to grow and use cannabis in accordance with the restrictions established by law, aims to bring illegal cannabis use out of the shadows and create conditions for the necessary public education.

    Impact of the law on other countries

    The international community is currently closely following changes in German legislation that may influence the debate on drug reform and harm reduction strategies on a global scale. The passage of this law could serve as a model for other states considering similar issues and provide valuable insights into the impact of cannabis legalization on public health, crime rates, and the illicit drug market.

    The German government's plan to closely monitor the law's impact on society reflects a commitment to evidence-based policy. Based on empirical studies evaluating public health outcomes that will be conducted over time, future changes to this law can be made as needed, indicating a dynamic approach by the government that suggests further liberalization of cannabis policy in the future, depending on how effectively the law will help achieve the currently set goals. One thing is clear - the general attitude of the world's societies towards cannabis, CBD products and other hemp-derived health products is changing in a positive direction at a faster pace than ever before.

    Brief overview of the provisions of the law

    In order to make the provisions of this law even easier to understand, we present answers to the most frequently asked questions summarizing the essence of the law:

    Is the recreational use of cannabis legal?

    Yes, the recreational use of cannabis is legal in Germany as of April 1st. However, there are some exceptions:

    • Only persons over the age of 18 can use or grow cannabis for recreational purposes.;
    • You can carry up to 25 g. cannabis, and at home - up to 50 g. hemp;
    • Each person (not a household) can grow up to 3 different cannabis plants in their home for their own use - distributing this cannabis to other people (even for nothing) is prohibited;
    • Cannabis cannot be used near persons who have not reached the age of majority;
    • Cannabis cannot be used in pedestrian areas of cities from 7 am. in the morning until 8 p.m. evening;
    • Cannabis cannot be consumed near educational institutions, kindergartens, children's playgrounds - cannabis can only be consumed if you are more than 100 years away from these institutions. 

    Cannabis legalization in Germany: summary

    As Germany steps down the road to legalizing cannabis, the whole world is watching how this bold decision is implemented. Germany's experience can be a valuable lesson for other countries considering similar measures, highlighting the need to make legislative adjustments based on new scientific evidence and public research and the importance of taking into account public health aspects.

    The legalization of cannabis in one of the most economically and not only advanced countries of the European Union means an increasing recognition of hemp products around the world. This shows not only significant changes in the attitude of the public, but also of the responsible institutions - many people have long ceased to consider cannabis as a narcotic substance, and more and more people are convinced of its benefits.

    Dažnai užduodami klausimai

    Ką reiškia kanapių legalizavimas rekreaciniais tikslais?

    Kanapių legalizavimas rekreaciniais tikslais reiškia tai, kad suaugę asmenys konkrečioje šalyje gali teisėtai vartoti marihuaną (psichotropines kanapes), kurių pagrindinis komponentas yra THC, pramoginiais tikslais, laikydamiesi tam tikrų teisės aktų nustatytų ribojimų.

    Kokios yra pagrindinės kanapių vartojimo rekreaciniais tikslais taisyklės Vokietijoje?

    Vokietijoje suaugusieji asmenys nuo šiol gali su savimi turėti iki 25 g kanapių viešose vietose ir iki 50 g savo namuose. Be to, jiems leidžiama auginti iki trijų kanapių augalų savo reikmėms namuose, o kanapes vartoti galima tik toliau nei 100 m nuo ugdymo įstaigų ir vaikų žaidimų aikštelių.

    Kas yra "kanapių klubai" ir kokia yra jų veiklos esmė?

    "Kanapių klubai" yra ne pelno siekiančios organizacijos, kurių nariais gali būti tik sulaukę pilnametystės ir gyvenantys Vokietijoje bent 6 mėnesius asmenys. “Kanapių klubų” nariai gali auginti kanapes ir platinti jas kitiems klubo nariams. Kiekvienam klubo nariui per mėnesį galima suteikti ne daugiau kaip 50 g kanapių.

    Ar yra numatytos specialios taisyklės Vokietijoje vartojant kanapes viešose vietose?

    Taip, kanapių negalima vartoti miestų pėsčiųjų zonose nuo 7 val. ryto iki 20 val. vakaro bei šalia ugdymo įstaigų ir vaikų žaidimų aikštelių - tą privaloma daryt esant tik toliau nei 100 m atstumu nuo minėtų objektų.

    Kokią įtaką kanapių legalizavimas Vokietijoje turės kitoms pasaulio šalims?

    Vokietijos sprendimas legalizuoti kanapes gali tapti pavyzdžiu kitoms valstybėms, svarstančioms įgyvendinti panašias reformas. Tai neabejotinai taps tarptautinių diskusijų apie narkotikų politikos reformas visame pasaulyje priežastimi - kanapių legalizavimas Vokietijoje rodo kintantį žmonių požiūrį į kanapes ir jų produktus. Manome, jog tai turės reikšmingą įtaką ir CBD (kanabidiolio) produktų kaip maisto papildų pripažinimui visame pasaulyje.