Germany legalizes marijuana  — RT World News

Adults are now allowed to carry up to 25 grams of cannabis and grow up to three marijuana plants at home

Smoking cannabis is now legal for adults over 18 in Germany, after a new law giving the green light for personal possession came into force on April 1.

The legislation, which makes Germany the largest country in the European Union to legalize recreational cannabis, was adopted after a heated debate over the pros and cons of providing easy access.

A new law in Germany allows adults to possess up to 25 grams of dried cannabis in public and grow up to three marijuana plants at home.

Public consumption of marijuana will be prohibited near schools, sports facilities, and children's playgrounds between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Minors caught in possession of marijuana will have to undergo a drug abuse prevention program.

The German coalition government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that legalization would help contain the growing black market for this popular substance. However, a number of medical associations have warned that the move to decriminalize weed will lead to the highest risks among young people.

“In our view the law as written is a disaster.” Katja Seidel, a therapist at the Tannenhof Berlin-Brandenburg, a drug addiction treatment center in the capital, told AFP.

“The product will be more accessible, its image will change and it will become more normal, especially among young people.” Seidel said, adding that she expects to see an increase in cannabis use “At least at first.”

Echoing these observations, Professor Ray Whaley of the Standing Committee of European Doctors warned that cannabis can be addictive and that new measures will lead to cannabis addiction. “Increased use and health-related harms, especially among young people.”

The law also allows large-scale drug cultivation in non-profit organizations “Cannabis clubs” Starting July 1st. The number of these groups must not exceed 500 members, and they must grow plants only for personal consumption. Cannabis clubs are supposed to be intended only for people living in Germany in order to prevent a wave of tourists from flocking in to enjoy hassle-free recreational marijuana use.

German police also expressed concerns, saying April 1 would mark the beginning “chaos phase” For the sake of the homeland. Experts predict that demand will quickly outstrip legal supply, as it will take months before cannabis clubs can begin operating.

“We assume that the black market will strengthen.” Alexander Poetz, of the German Police Federation (GdP), told the BBC.

According to official statistics for 2021, 8.8% of adults in Germany between the ages of 18 and 64 said they had used cannabis at least once during the previous 12 months. Among people aged 12 to 17 years, this number was about 10%.

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