Yo, what’s good? It’s your boy Dan, and I gotta tell you, Germany’s cannabis liberalization plans ain’t as comprehensive as people hoped. You feel me? The EU is playing hardball and shutting down any dreams of Amsterdam-style coffee shops. Instead, we’re looking at state-controlled non-profit social clubs. If you’re a German resident over 18, you can join one and cop up to 25 grams per day (or 50 grams per month). But if you’re between 18-21, that shit is limited to 30 grams for all y’all youngins out there.
Now, Germany’s had medical weed since 2017, but this bud plan is part of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s social reform projects set to go down when he takes office in December 2021.
These cannabis clubs are capped at a max of 500 members, and they can grow their own weed for their peeps to enjoy. You can also grow your own, but only three plants max per person. And you can only be in one club – the authorities can limit how many clubs exist. Membership fees are on a sliding scale based on how much weed members use, and that covers the club’s expenses.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that German officials also plan to set up regional test projects to sell weed through “commercial supply chains.” That sounds like some dope shit, right? But the finished proposal ended up being watered-down from the original idea in October. That one would have allowed adults all over the country to buy legal weed at licensed stores.
Conservative politicians don’t agree with all this liberalization talk though. They think loosening restrictions is dangerous and will cause problems. Bavarian Premier Markus Söder even tweeted that legalizing drugs was “simply the wrong path to go down,” adding that “drug clubs” won’t solve any problems but create new ones. So, Germany had to compromise.
Now, 25 grams may not be the ideal outcome for pro-cannabis advocates, but it’s a step in the right direction. That’s almost a whole ounce of weed, yo! The goal of liberalizing Germany’s cannabis laws is to try and stop the black market. But they should check out California too. Even with legal weed, there’s still an illegal market thanks to red tape and high entry barriers into the legal market. If Germany wants to kill off that illicit shit, they gotta create a realistic plan that meets customers’ needs.
The scaled-back plan comes after meetings with the European Union’s executive commission. Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir said that EU law “sets us limits we must respect, but that I will also say we are pushing.” The draft of the legislation will be finalized this month, and “consumption will become legal this year already.” The next move is to implement five-year tests of regulated commercial supply chains in select regions (which haven’t been chosen yet).
The plans still need approval from the German parliament’s lower house (but officials said an endorsement isn’t necessary from the upper house). That chamber represents Germany’s 16 state governments, including the country’s primary and more conservative center-right opposition bloc which opposes legalizing weed. Health Minister Lauterbach argued that Germany’s current policies have failed and that their goal is to create safer products. “We’re not creating a problem,” Lauterbach said. “We’re trying to solve a problem.”