Luxembourg becomes the first EU country to legalize cannabis
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Luxembourg legalizes growing and use of cannabis
Great news for Europe! Luxembourg will become the first European country to legalize cannabis and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
We already told you 8 months ago in this article, this little country was to make cannabis history in the coming 2 years. The basis of this new regulation was then set by a coalition agreement between the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Liberals. This legislation still needs a vote in parliament in order to be implemented.
Once this happens, growing and adult use of cannabis will be legalized. Recreational cannabis use will be permitted, in an attempt to decriminalize domestic consumption. Fines for possession will be lowered.
These steps towards legalization might inspire its European neighbours, Germany being the next one in line. With the new government in Germany, a coalition between The Green Party, the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats could push new regulations towards the legalization of recreational cannabis.
Luxembourg’s legislation on recreational cannabis use
This new legislation has several aims, the main one being stopping the criminalization of recreational cannabis use and cultivation. This way users will not be punished and, at the same time, they will be kept away from the illegal market. Production and thus quality control will be kept within the country, allowing a safe and legal market to develop. This domestic production of cannabis is, according to the Justice Minister Sam Tanson, the first step.
Other changes on Luxembourg’s current cannabis laws will be:
Home-growing up to 4 cannabis plants per household
No limits on THC levels (THC being the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis)
Trading seeds made possible. Including import, online trading, and domestic production
The possibility of purchasing cannabis seeds in shops
Two activities will still remain illegal: consuming cannabis in public, and trading and transporting any cannabis product other than seeds
A measure against the illegal market and drug crime
Sam Tanson, the Justice Minister, also stated that a step had to be taken in order to fight Luxembourg’s problem with the illegal market.
She claimed that cannabis is the most used drug in Luxembourg, and users had to be decriminalized. This is the reason why home growing will be allowed under this new legislation. The liberalization of the production of cannabis will hopefully help ending the illegal black market.
Consumption and transport of more than 3 grams of cannabis will no longer considered a criminal offence but a misdemeanour. The fines will be reduced dramatically, dropping from the current 291$/251€ to 2.910$/2.500€ for possession of more than 3 grams into a symbolic amount of only 28$/25€.
Following Uruguay and Canada steps on cannabis legalization
Uruguay and Canada are -for now- the only two countries where both medical and recreational cannabis have been legalized. It is expected that Luxembourg joins these two countries together with 11 US states on a UN convention about the control of narcotic drugs, including cannabis.
Whenever there is a step towards cannabis normalization, decriminalization or legalization, we always hope for a chain reaction within the regions or countries in the surroundings.
Luxembourg cannabis legislation could inspire other countries to create a legal national marijuana marketplace as well. In the same fashion, the legalization of medical marijuana in California in 1996 might have inspired the many US states and regions to decriminalize and legalize marijuana. One example of total cannabis legalization in the US is the recent legal changes towards marijuana in Connecticut earlier this year.
There is no case like the ones in Uruguay and Canada in Europe. In The Netherlands, possession, trade and recreational use of cannabis are tolerated but technically illegal. Germany is the country providing Luxembourg with medical cannabis, but it still has to take some more steps to regulate or legalize recreational cannabis. This might finally happen after the last election.
We celebrate this new legislation in Luxembourg and will be expecting its final vote on the parliament very soon!