The introduction of cannabis legalization in Germany, initially expected on January 1, 2024, is now likely to be postponed to April 1, 2024. This decision comes after prolonged waiting and various obstacles that the bill, proposed by SPD Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, had to overcome in the Bundestag.
The vote in the Bundestag, which was scheduled for today (November 16), has been removed from the agenda. It is expected that the Bundestag could make a decision in its last session week of this year, between December 13 and 15. However, the states that could call the mediation committee or object must still be heard.
Challenges and Criticism
The planned prohibition zones for cannabis consumption and the associated control and enforcement tasks for the states remain controversial. There are also concerns about the visibility of these prohibition zones for consumers and the bureaucratic requirements for cultivation associations. The opposition, especially the CSU and CDU, has already announced resistance to legalization, particularly in terms of protecting young people.
In the first step of the reform, possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis products for adults is to become non-punishable, as well as the cultivation of up to three female plants for personal use. However, questions remain open regarding the availability and legal acquisition of these products.
Health and Legal Concerns
There is an ongoing debate about the health effects of cannabis, especially on teenagers, as well as about setting THC limit values for road traffic.
The planned legalization and decriminalization of cannabis in Germany still faces numerous challenges and remains uncertain in many aspects.