Germany wants to decriminalize cannabis, with conditions

BERLIN (HPD) — Germany’s health minister on Wednesday unveiled his plan to decriminalize possession of up to 30 grams (1 ounce) of cannabis and allow the sale of the substance to adults for recreational purposes.

The question is whether the plan approved by the government will be able to go ahead because the executive wants to make sure beforehand that it is compatible with European Union legislation. Karl Lauterbach said that the regulations will advance only if that is the case.

The plan calls for the sale of cannabis to adults in licensed establishments, and is aimed at combating the black market, Lauterbach added, adding that his government intends to strictly regulate the market.

The legalization of the controlled sale of cannabis is one of the reforms included in the government agreement signed last year by the coalition of three socially progressive parties that form the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The plan would ensure quality control while protecting young people and would see the “social effects” of the new rule reviewed after four years.

Among other progressive plans, the government has removed from the penal code the ban on doctors “advertising” procedures to terminate a pregnancy. They also want to ease the path to German citizenship, remove restrictions on dual nationality and lower the minimum voting age in general and European elections from 18 to 16.

The executive also wants to abolish 40-year-old legislation that requires trans people to undergo a psychological evaluation and a judicial decision before officially changing their gender, a process that often includes intimate questions. He plans to replace it with a new “self-determination law.”

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