(FILE) A salesclerk demonstrates how to use a filter for smoking Cannabis during Mary Jane Berlin expo in Berlin, Germany, 08 June 2018. EPA/EFE/HAYOUNG JEON

Germany to allow private weed in revision of legalization plans

Berlin, Apr 12 (EFE).- The German government on Wednesday unveiled a revised plan to legalize limited amounts of cannabis for personal consumption and possession.

The left-wing coalition government had made full legalization of the drug one of the pillars of its successful election campaign, but has revised those plans – which would have seen cannabis being sold in certain licensed shops to adults over 18 – after consultations with the European Commission.

(FILE) A participant is holding a banner with the cannabis symbol during the Hemp Parade (Hanfparade) demonstration as they pass by the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 10 August 2019. EFE/EPA/OMER MESSINGER

Under the new proposal, private clubs for adults over 18 of up to 500 members will be allowed, with members able to purchase a maximum of 25 grams per day, and up to 50 grams per month. People will also be permitted to grow up to three plants at home.

The revised project is based on the government’s belief that criminalizing cannabis consumption has failed.

“We are not creating a problem, we are trying to solve a problem. We know that criminal law does not get us very far. We want to protect young people, we want to fight the black market and drug-related crime,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach in a press appearance alongside Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir.

On the black market, Lauterbach said, manipulated products that increase health risks are often sold.

German Minister for Food and Agriculture Cem Ozdemir addresses a joint press conference with the German health minister (not pictured) at the House of the Federal Press Conference (Bundespressekonferenz) in Berlin, Germany, 12 April 2023. EFE/EPA/CLEMENS BILAN

“This is something we can no longer accept. That’s why we are committed to a controlled supply of cannabis to adults with clear limits and preventive measures for young people,” Lauterbach said.

A second step in the government’s approach to decriminalizing weed will be setting up a limited number of licensed shops in certain regions to trial government-regulated commercial supply.

“The intention is to develop a pilot project that can serve as a basis for a European cannabis policy based on prevention rather than criminalization of use,” Lauterbach said.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach addresses a joint press conference with the German minister for food and agriculture (not pictured) at the House of the Federal Press Conference (Bundespressekonferenz) in Berlin, Germany, 12 April 2023. EFE/EPA/CLEMENS BILAN

Özdemir said “cannabis use is a social reality, ignoring it does not eliminate it”.

“The policy of criminalization of cannabis has failed for decades. It has not succeeded in driving people away from cannabis but has created a black market,” he added. EFE