Germany’s cannabis legalisation plans have hit a roadblock, with the government unveiling watered-down legislation on Wednesday.
The proposed laws allow for private cultivation and distribution of cannabis through non-profit groups, but not for general sales in shops.
The legislation also outlines a pilot project to test the impact of a commercial supply chain of recreational cannabis on public health, protecting minors and reducing black market activity. Under the proposed laws, personal possession of up to 25 grams of recreational cannabis would also be permitted.
“The previous cannabis policy has failed. Now we have to go new ways,” declared Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, adding that Germany must explore alternative approaches.
The new proposals follow discussions with the European Commission on a cornerstone paper the German government issued last year. However, the ministries involved in drafting the legislation – health, justice, and agriculture – have not provided a timeline for the plan’s implementation.
Germany joins several European countries that have already legalised cannabis for medicinal use, while others have decriminalised its general use, without fully legalising it.
The proposed legislation represents a compromise between advocates for legalisation and opponents concerned about the public health and safety implications of widespread cannabis use.