Weed legalisation in Germany delayed into 2024 says Lauterbach
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has confirmed that Germany’s new cannabis legalisation law will not be implemented in time for the beginning of 2024.
Marijuana legalisation delayed in Germany until after the new year
In an interview with Tagesspiegel, Karl Lauterbach has said that he wants to settle debates about cannabis legalisation, “even if that means the January 1 deadline to introduce the law is missed”.
It was big news back in April 2023 when the SPD politician announced that Germany’s plan for legalisation was a top priority, adding that the law could be expected by the end of 2023.
But now the Bundesrat agenda is too tight for the law to make it to the chamber floor before the end of the year, meaning a Bundesrat reading cannot take place until the next available date, on February 2, 2024. Only then would actually implementing the law be the next step in the legislative process.
German experts and politicians still battling over cannabis law
A recent expert hearing in the Bundestag also revealed how controversial the legislation still is, with medical associations, unions representing the German police, and the Association of German Judges all opposing the plan. On the other side, addiction experts and lawyers stressed the need for decriminalisation.
When the new law is implemented, at least in its current form, weed will only be available for purchase via Cannabis Social Clubs, to which people will have to register as a member. Members will have to be at least 18 years old. Those between the ages of 18 and 21 will only be able to purchase cannabis that has a maximum THC content of 10 percent and will be limited to purchasing a maximum of 30 grams per month. Members over 21 years old will be able to purchase a maximum of 50 grams per month.
Since Lauterbach announced the plan alongside Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir, the new law has come under fire from conservative politicians, with some federal states positioning themselves against Lauterbach’s proposed regional legalisation trials and the government in Bavaria saying that it will continue to police cannabis use even after the law has been adopted nationwide.
Most of these stances have been founded in arguments that the federal government has not adequately considered the impact of legalisation on the health of children and teenagers in Germany, which led Lauterbach to announce that the government would release an extensive public health campaign targetted at young people ahead of nationwide legalisation.
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