EU legalizes cannabis after Germany
EU legalizes cannabis after Germany

Germany Legalizes Cannabis - What Will Other European Countries Do Now?

Massive tax benefits could be transfered to Super Power Germany if other countries don't catch up!

Posted by:
Lemon Knowles on Saturday Apr 6, 2024

germany legalizes weed now what

It seems that attitudes about Germany, which has historically been seen as one of the most conservative countries in Europe, are beginning to change significantly. Despite fierce resistance from politicians and different medical authorities, Germany became the largest EU member state to legalize cannabis for recreational use this week in a historic step.


Now, those over eighteen are allowed to own up to 25 grams of dried cannabis and grow up to three marijuana plants inside.


With regard to cannabis legalization, this legislative modification places Germany in line with nations like Malta and Luxembourg, which legalized the drug for recreational use in 2021 and 2023, respectively, placing it among the most progressive nations in Europe.


Do other European countries want to see massive amounts of Euro tax benefits go to the already economically powerful Germany? Like cannabis-bordering state in America, most EU countries will have to join the Green Wave or watch precious tax dollars cross borders and have their neighbor reap the benefits of marijuana legalization.


Although the Netherlands has long been known for its lax laws around cannabis, new information points to the possibility that laws could soon be tightened in an effort to counter cannabis tourism. Access to the medicine may be more difficult for travelers, even in countries like the Netherlands and Germany that borders them that have historically been more lenient.


Implications of Legal Changes on Cannabis Usage in Germany


Despite recent legal amendments in Germany, accessing cannabis remains a complex endeavor.


Initially, proposals for cannabis distribution through licensed establishments were scrapped due to opposition from the EU. However, authorities anticipate implementing pilot programs to assess the feasibility of selling cannabis in select shops.


The German government anticipates that legalization will help curb the burgeoning black market for cannabis.


Starting July 1st, the subsequent phase of legal restructuring will introduce "cannabis clubs." Each sanctioned association will be permitted up to 500 members, each of whom can procure up to 50 grams of cannabis monthly. The eligibility of foreign nationals or tourists for membership remains uncertain.


While certain health organizations express apprehension that legalization might foster increased usage, particularly among young individuals susceptible to severe health risks, the government has devised a solution. They've committed to a comprehensive awareness campaign highlighting potential drawbacks and emphasized that cannabis will remain prohibited for those under 18 and within a 100-meter radius of schools, kindergartens, and playgrounds.


Additionally, the legislation has drawn criticism from law enforcement, expressing concerns about potential heightened conflicts with individuals under the influence. Their apprehensions hint at the unlikelihood of Germany evolving into a 'weed tourism' destination anytime soon, given the anticipated enforcement challenges.


Exploring Europe's Primary Destinations for Cannabis Tourism


In Europe, laws pertaining to cannabis growing, usage, and possession differ, although certain places stand out for being more lax than others.


Malta is the EU's leader in tolerance, with the most permissive cannabis policy. Adults in Malta can legally possess up to 7g of cannabis and grow up to four plants inside, owing to legislation passed in 2021. Despite the fact that smoking in public is still illegal, Malta's streets are packed with stores selling joints, edibles, and other accessories.


Despite popular belief, the possession, sale, and production of drugs are all illegal in the Netherlands. Though possession of up to 5g is decriminalized, cannabis sales are "tolerated" at the country's well-known "coffee shops."


Similarly, in Spain, personal cannabis use is decriminalized, with regulations varying between municipalities. Cannabis social clubs, numbering over 1,000, thrive, particularly in tourist hubs like Barcelona. Despite occasional crackdowns, law enforcement typically turns a blind eye to these clubs, which often test the limits of Spanish decriminalization laws.


Most European nations enforce fines or other penalties for cannabis use or possession, even in small amounts. However, the passage of Germany's new cannabis law could influence more liberal countries. Belgium, notably, has considered possession of up to 3g of cannabis or the cultivation of one plant a "low prosecution priority" for individuals over 18 since 2003.


Last year, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, suggested the country should "consider the legalization of cannabis," hinting at a potential shift toward legalization in the near future.


Evaluating Potential Impacts on European Cannabis Tourism


Germany's decision to legalize cannabis not only signifies a dramatic change in the nation's attitude toward drug use for recreational purposes, but it also creates a precedent that will be followed by most of Europe. Germany's decision to implement the reform—it being the biggest EU member state to do so—is likely to have an impact throughout the continent, particularly in areas where opinions about cannabis have traditionally been conservative.


With Germany now joining the ranks of nations like Malta and Luxembourg in legalizing recreational cannabis, the concept of cannabis tourism in Europe may undergo a notable transformation. Tourists seeking cannabis-friendly destinations may increasingly turn their attention to these countries, drawn by the allure of legal access to the drug in a recreational capacity. Consequently, this shift could potentially impact the tourism landscape, influencing travel patterns and the economies of countries that embrace more liberal cannabis policies.


But there are also difficulties and concerns with cannabis legalization in Germany, especially with relation to public health, regulation, and enforcement. While legalizing home cultivation and establishing "cannabis clubs" are positive steps toward normality, they also add layers of complexity to the management and control process. Furthermore, apprehensions continue to exist regarding possible abuse, especially in susceptible groups, which calls for strong education and harm reduction strategies to lessen negative consequences.


As Germany navigates the challenges of cannabis legalization, other European countries may pay careful attention, assessing both the benefits and drawbacks of such policy shifts. Countries with current decriminalization policies or liberal views toward cannabis, like as the Netherlands and Spain, may reconsider their approaches in light of Germany's precedent. Meanwhile, countries with stricter drug regulations, such as Belgium, may face increased pressure to change their position, particularly if the economic and social benefits of cannabis legalization become clearer over time.


Bottom Line


Germany's decision to legalize cannabis marks a significant departure from its historical conservatism and sets a precedent that may influence other European nations. While this move aligns Germany with progressive countries like Malta and Luxembourg, it also introduces complexities in regulation, enforcement, and public health. The establishment of "cannabis clubs" and allowance of personal cultivation signal steps toward normalization but raise questions about oversight and control. As Germany navigates these challenges, other countries may observe closely, weighing the potential benefits and drawbacks of cannabis legalization. Ultimately, Germany's decision could reshape the landscape of cannabis tourism in Europe and spark discussions about reform in countries with more stringent drug laws.





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