Germany unveils bill to legalise cannabis

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Germany unveils bill to legalise cannabis

16 August 2023
Timothy Jones
Matthias von Hein
DW News

A draft bill that would legally allow people to use and grow cannabis is to be put before lawmakers for consideration. But there are many voices opposing the legalization of the drug for recreational purposes.

A controversial draft bill on legalizing the recreational use of the drug cannabis was unveiled on Wednesday by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach after it was approved by the German Cabinet.

Advocates of legal cannabis use in Germany's coalition government aim to legalize the drug this year but they face resistance from conservative lawmakers, some physicians and law enforcement representatives.

What did ministers say?

Lauterbach called the draft bill a "turning point" following policies on cannabis that had "unfortunately failed."

However, he stressed that use of the drug was not without risk.

"No one should falsely understand the law. The consumption of cannabis will be legalized, but it remains dangerous," he said in a joint statement from the Health Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry.

He said the aim was to curb the black market and drugs-related criminality, the trade with adulterated or toxic substances, and the number of consumers.

"The protection of children and teenagers is a central element of the entire legislative project," the statement said, referring to a youth information campaign "Legal, but ..." that will be launched by the Health Ministry.