Legalization of cannabis in Germany - everything you need to know.

What's happened?

Starting April 1, 2024, marijuana in Germany will become partially legal. The German government has passed a bill for the partial legalization of marijuana, and German society is divided on this issue. Some are happy about the new law and are ready for it to take effect, while others are outraged by the idea of legalizing soft drugs.

The law comes into effect on April 1, 2024. Let's examine this law and find out what will be prohibited and allowed, and how it will affect our lives.

Why do they want to legalize marijuana?

Why does the German government want to legalize marijuana at all, and what are they trying to achieve with this? Let's consider the current situation: marijuana in Germany is almost entirely prohibited. This means that if someone wants to smoke marijuana, they can only obtain it from the black market. The black market is uncontrolled and unregulated. Lately, synthetic products have appeared on the black market, and it is unknown how much psychoactive substance is in the grass you bought from a dealer around the corner.

Despite marijuana being banned in Germany, its consumption increases every year. Particularly, the law's creators say that consumption among the youth is increasing. In their view, this situation is very dangerous because, by buying weed from a dealer around the corner, you do not know what is inside. There might be synthetic cannabinoids. Maybe something has been mixed in, and this poses significant health risks, especially for young people who want to smoke.

What do legislators want to achieve? Well, first of all, if you still want to smoke marijuana, to be able to purchase it legally, to know what kind of grass it is, where it came from, what its psychoactive substance content is, in short, to make this product safer for the consumer. Secondly, as more and more young people begin to consume marijuana, the government wants to create an informational resource and better inform the population about the harms of marijuana. And thirdly, the government wants to significantly weaken the black market. It is currently a huge, illegal business. By allowing consumers to purchase marijuana legally, they will significantly weaken the black market, the drug market.

How can hemp be grown in the future?

To obtain marijuana, one needs to grow cannabis — this is the first aspect regulated by the new law. So, what will change? The new law provides for two methods of growing marijuana. The first method is home cultivation. This means that in the future, you can legally have up to three marijuana plants at home, which will allow you to harvest up to 50 grams of fresh product. What does "product" mean? The product is either marijuana, that is, dried herb, or hashish up to 50 grams.

The second method of growing weed is through so-called cannabis clubs or associations. This means that you and your friends, at least seven people, have the right to create an association that will engage in the cultivation of marijuana. This association can have up to 500 members, and all club members can legally acquire marijuana for their own consumption in these clubs.

Therefore, if it now becomes completely legal to grow marijuana, whether at home or in clubs, something must also change in the storage and carrying of marijuana. Precisely so, the bill states that in the future you will be able to legally carry or possess up to 25 grams of marijuana or hashish.

How much marijuana will you be allowed to carry?

Marijuana is now becoming completely legal to grow, either at home or in clubs, which means something has to change in both storing and carrying marijuana. That's right, the bill says that in the future you will be able to legally carry or possess up to 25 grams of marijuana or hashish.

Where can you smoke marijuana?

The law states the following: the use of marijuana in public places is prohibited. The following public places are meant: for example, the use of marijuana within a 200-meter radius near schools, youth facilities, sports fields, and kindergartens is prohibited. Many videos have already appeared on the internet showing people drawing or marking on the map where schools, playgrounds, and sports fields are located in major cities, and drawing a 200-meter radius around each such point, resulting in almost nowhere being permissible to smoke. Therefore, be cautious in the future: smoking marijuana within a 200-meter radius of such places will be prohibited.

Furthermore, the law states that the use of cannabis will also be prohibited in pedestrian zones from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Interestingly, after 8:00 PM, this will all be allowed in pedestrian areas of major cities, and even in small towns. It will be interesting to see what happens there. I understand that the purpose of this restriction is to protect children and teenagers from marijuana, meaning it is assumed that teenagers are out on the streets from 7 AM to 8 PM, and not thereafter.

How will traffic regulations change in relation to marijuana?

What will change for drivers? Previously, if you smoked marijuana, the presence of psychoactive substances would be detectable in your blood for a considerable amount of time, meaning you couldn't drive for about a week. Naturally, this situation is quite peculiar. Yes, if it becomes legal to smoke marijuana, but you cannot drive for a whole week afterwards, legislators want to change this as well and are planning to adopt changes soon, similar to the 0.5 per mille rule for alcohol, and in the future, to establish a new threshold that allows you to smoke, so that after a certain amount of time, psychoactive substances can still be found in your blood but they no longer affect your physical and mental state.

Remember, currently, if you're stopped and marijuana is detected in your blood, you could face a fine of up to 500 euros, a month of driving ban, and two points in Flensburg.

When will marijuana become legal?

The law on the partial legalization of marijuana comes into force on April 1, 2024.

Will there be commercial trade in marijuana?

What we discussed today is just the first phase of the legalization of marijuana that the ruling coalition plans to implement. In the second phase, they also plan to allow the commercial sale of marijuana in specialized stores. Some states and cities, such as Berlin and Bremen, have already expressed a desire to have such stores in their cities in the future. Bavaria, for example, is categorically against such rules and is likely not to participate.

So, the news remains interesting. In the future, a law is also likely to be adopted that will allow the legal sale of marijuana not only in clubs, which I mentioned earlier, but also in specialized stores. Friends, the topic is indeed complex. Many want marijuana to be legalized. Many consider it to be the wrong decision.


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