Smaller consumption ban zones, larger permitted quantities for home cultivation, but also stricter penalties when it comes to minors: The traffic light has agreed on various changes to the cannabis law.
After a tough struggle, the SPD, Greens and FDP factions have agreed with the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) on changes to the planned Cannabis Act (CanG). Due to the current turbulence surrounding the federal budget and changes in priorities in federal politics, it was initially feared that the cannabis project would fall behind in the traffic light planning until further notice.
However, this is not the case: the law is to be discussed in the lead health committee in the week of the meeting in mid-December (calendar week 50) and then finally passed in the Bundestag in the same week. The regulations on decriminalization should apply from April 1, 2024, but the regulations on the new cultivation associations in which members can purchase cannabis will only apply from July 2024. The template for the Health Committee with explanations is available to LTO and can be downloaded here.
The changes themselves, as well as the timetable associated with them, had been eagerly awaited. Finally, the specialist politicians from the parliamentary groups, especially from the FDP and the Greens, had spoken out in favor of massive changes to what they saw as the too rigid law by Karl Lauterbach (SPD). They were now able to implement some corrections in negotiations with the BMG. However, new stricter penalties are also planned.
Consumption permitted outside of sight of schools
The consumption bans near schools, kindergartens, playgrounds and the new cultivation associations (“cannabis clubs”) have been defused. In the old design, a distance of at least 200 meters was required, from which weed could be smoked without hesitation. Following the change, consumption is now only prohibited “within sight” of the establishments. It is also clarified that visibility is no longer possible at a distance of more than 100 meters from the entrance area of the respective facility. The chairwoman of the Health Committee in the Bundestag, Kirsten Kappert-Gonther (Alliance 90/The Greens), welcomed the correction: “In this way, we reduce the control effort for the police, create more clarity for users, enable patients to take their medication and protect them Children and young people.”
Another change concerns the permitted amount resulting from home cultivation of cannabis. In principle, adults will in future be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis for their own consumption. It should also be possible to grow up to three cannabis plants for personal consumption. In this regard, there was criticism of the permitted possession amount of 25 grams, as significantly more intoxicating cannabis can often be obtained from three plants.
50 grams of self-cultivation cannabis allowed at home
The traffic light has now responded to this criticism and increased the permitted amount of home cultivation from up to three plants to 50 grams. It is also clarified that the limit refers to the dried quantity. “This makes it possible for a cannabis plant from private cultivation to be harvested to such an extent that the permitted possession amount of 25 grams of dried cannabis in public spaces and 50 grams of dried cannabis at one’s place of residence or habitual residence can be exhausted with its harvest,” it says for explanation in the submission to the committee.
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