Is it April Fools Prank? Germany to Legalize Cannabis Starting April 1

By Thea Felicity

Mar 22, 2024 12:28 PM EDT

This picture taken on March 7, 2023 shows a bag of 'Purple gas' marijuana strain during a two-year pilot for the legal sale of recreational cannabis in Basel. Switzerland, which pioneered prescription heroin and safe injection sites decades ago, is now experimenting with decriminalising recreational cannabis, with the drug now available in some Basel pharmacies.
(Photo : Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Germany decided to legalize the recreational use of cannabis, as first reported by Yahoo News. This means adults across the nation will be permitted to smoke weed in public starting Apr. 1, following approval from the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat.

However, due to public debate and several legislative deliberations, many wonder if it's an April Fool's prank to catch and arrest Germans consuming cannabis illegally.

What Are The Rules for Germany's Legalized Cannabis?

The legislation, passed by the lower house last month, permits German adults to have up to 25 grams of cannabis for personal use in public spaces. Individuals can also legally cultivate up to three cannabis plants at home and possess up to 50 grams of cannabis for personal consumption on their premises.

Here comes the part where Germans think it may be an April Fool's prank. The legalized cannabis law was passed with strict regulations, prohibiting the consumption of cannabis in certain public areas such as schools and sports facilities, as well as within a 100-meter radius of these locations.

One notable provision of the law allows for the establishment of non-commercial "cultivation associations," enabling up to 500 adult members to collectively grow cannabis for personal use, with a maximum limit of 50 grams per member per month.

While proponents of the legalized cannabis legislation, including Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, hail it as a necessary step to address the failures of past cannabis policies, concerns have been raised by law enforcement authorities.

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Germany's Cannabis Law Is Not An April Fool's Prank For Police Officers

The German Police Union (GdP) anticipates challenges and potential conflicts arising from the new law, warning of increased workload for police officers.

 Deputy federal chairman Alexander Poitz expressed disappointment in not sending the bill to a mediation committee, citing numerous unanswered questions and potential uncertainties.

Despite opposition, Health Minister Lauterbach remains optimistic about Germany's newly legalized cannabis law's impact, as it has the potential to combat the growing black market and reduce drug-related deaths. He acknowledges initial reservations about cannabis legalization but asserts the necessity of addressing the failures of previous policies.

With this new law for cannabis, Germany joins Malta and Luxembourg as the third European Union country to legalize cannabis for personal use.

READ MORE: United Kingdom's 'Most Advanced' Indoor Farming Heads Into Commercial Success

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