Since midnight, the possession and consumption of cannabis has been legal for adults in Germany, subject to certain conditions. The corresponding cannabis law came into force on April 1st, which the traffic light coalition had pushed through despite great resistance from opposition parties, the federal states and associations from medicine, the judiciary and the police.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach defended the move again. “Today we are ending a failed ban policy,” said the SPD politician to the German Press Agency in Berlin. This is a historic opportunity. “From now on we are combining a real alternative to the black market with better child and youth protection. Things could not continue as before,” added the minister.

Addiction prevention measures

The government argues that cannabis consumption has increased despite the ban, that the black market is growing and that cannabis purchased there may be associated with increased health risks. The active ingredient content is unknown and it could contain toxic additives and impurities.

Now, as a first step, the possession, private cultivation and consumption of certain amounts of cannabis will be permitted for adults. From July, in a second step, so-called cultivation associations will be allowed to grow cannabis under strict conditions under state control and distribute it to their members. At the same time, the law provides for measures to prevent addiction.

Fines for violations

When it comes into force, cannabis will disappear from the list of prohibited substances in the Narcotics Act. People older than 18 are now allowed to carry up to 25 grams of the drug in public, and a maximum of 50 grams is allowed at home. You are also allowed to have up to three cannabis plants at home. Smoking weed is allowed in public, but not near children and young people, schools, daycare centers, playgrounds and sports fields and not in pedestrian zones during the day.

Violations can be punished with heavy fines. Passing on the drug – with the exception of clubs – remains a punishable offense, especially if passed on to minors there is a risk of imprisonment. Cannabis remains prohibited for young people under 18.