Germany legalizes marijuana

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The German Parliament has approved a new law allowing the adult use of cannabis sativa, marijuana.

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Under the law, those over 18 in Germany will be able to possess substantial quantities of cannabis, but strict rules will make it difficult to purchase the drug.

As a result, using cannabis in many public spaces in Germany will be permitted by law from April 1st.

Possession of up to 25 grams will be permitted in public spaces. In private residences the legal limit will be 50 grams.

Police in some parts of Germany, such as Berlin, already often turn a blind eye to public use, although anyone caught with the drug for adult use could be prosecuted.

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Marijuana use among young people has been rising for years despite the existing law, says Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who supported the reform.

His project aims to undermine the illegal market, protect users of low-quality cannabis and cut off the revenue streams of organized crime gangs.

A strong debate over the decriminalization of the plant has been raging for years in Germany, with groups of doctors expressing concerns regarding young people’s consumption. Conservative politicians say that liberalization will fuel drug consumption.

In the coming years, the German government intends to evaluate the impact of the new law and eventually introduce the licensed sale of cannabis.

However, opposition Conservatives say that if they come into government next year, they will repeal the law entirely. Germany is unlikely to become Europe’s new Amsterdam any time soon.

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