Cannabis now legalised in Germany

Germany legalises cannabis

Image of a woman smoking a cigarette joint. Credit: michelangeloop/

No it’s not an April fool, individuals over the age of 18 in Germany are now allowed to possess up to 25g of dried cannabis and to grow up to three marijuana plants for personal use.

This landmark decision, effective from Monday, April 1, was reached after extensive discussions weighing the benefits against the potential drawbacks of more accessible cannabis.

The debate surrounding decriminalisation

The German government argues that by decriminalising cannabis, the underground market will suffer, leading to a decrease in the circulation of tainted cannabis. This, they say, will safeguard the youth.

However, voices from the drug rehabilitation community express grave concerns. Katja Seidel, a therapist at the Tannenhof Berlin-Brandenburg in Berlin, in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP) commented: ‘From our point of view, the law as it is written is a disaster’

Seidel fears that the law will normalise cannabis use among the young, potentially boosting consumption initially.

Protective measures and public opinion

To mitigate risks to under 18s, the law includes protective measures such as prohibiting cannabis consumption within 100 metres of schools, kindergartens, playgrounds, or sports centres.

Yet, the effectiveness of these safeguards and proposed awareness campaigns is debated. Critics like Boris Knoblich of the Tannenhof Berlin-Brandenburg argue that traditional media campaigns fail to engage young people effectively. Instead, they suggest more direct, interpersonal methods of communication.

The initiative is being closely monitored by international observers, keen to see how the new legislation unfolds in practice.

With 8.8 per cent of German adults aged 18-64 and nearly 10 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds admitting to cannabis use in the past year, the law also aims to improve the quality of cannabis for a growing number of users, including those consuming it for medicinal purposes.

The southern state of Bavaria is exploring innovative approaches, like an online course for teachers, to address cannabis topics in schools, showing a multifaceted effort to deal with the new ruling.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.