Germany Legalises Marijuana But France Criticises
Recently, Germany passed a bill that legalises marijuana use in the country. France, on the other hand, criticises its consumption and conducts an extreme preventive policy although the country has one of the highest rates of marijuana consumption in Europe.
Decriminalising Marijuana in Germany
Marijuana comes in different names, such as weed, pot, Mary Jane, cannabis, and more. Germany decriminalised marijuana and passed a bill on August 16. Users can possibly buy and carry up to 25 grams of cannabis from the age of 18 years old.
According to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, it’s a crucial moment in drug policy. The decision lies in the hands of the German parliament. It followed the steps of its neighbouring countries, Albania and Luxembourg for marijuana legalisation.
German ‘Cannabis Clubs’ Euphoric of the Imminent Legalisation
The cannabis club in Hanover began as a suburban organisation with nine members lobbying for the freedom to lawfully puff joints. Currently, the group and others burgeon and integrate as Germany prepares to authorise marijuana, welcoming 800 applications.
This month the German government ratified a draft law approving the procurement and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes, regardless of severe criticism.
The so-called “cannabis social clubs” must consist of at least 500 members. Each individual can grow up to three marijuana plants for personal consumption under the regulation of the authorities.
Each club member can buy up to 25 grams of weed per day from the club and a maximum of 50 grams in a month. Users aged 18 to 20 can purchase up to 30 grams only.
Members are forbidden to smoke together during their assemblies, but still, the number of cannabis clubs continues to rise, being at around 100 at the moment.
Club membership costs €20, including a monthly fee of €5. However, the price chiefly covers the site rental and could increase if it includes the supply of cannabis.
“Over the past few months, we have been contacted by nearly 800 people. I want to get to know them. I have to integrate them into the team and assign them tasks,” said Heinrich Wieker, the founder and a former electrical engineer.
He surmises the best thing to do is sell marijuana to the members by the gram. Likewise, he thinks the price must be between €5 and €15 per gram to underwrite production.
France Continues Criminalising Cannabis
While some European countries have started legalising cannabis, France will continue criticising it. In fact, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin sent policemen to Nîmes to investigate pot trafficking and gang violence that resulted in the deaths of two people aged 10 and 18.
In Marseille, about 32 fatalities were recorded since the start of 2023 due to weed trafficking. Clamours for the decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis are now escalating.
“Drug trafficking kills. How many more victims must there be before the country thinks about eradicating it? To achieve this, the EESC recommends the regulated legalisation of cannabis, which has been tried and tested elsewhere and is about to be implemented by our German neighbours. What are we waiting for?,” according to EESC President Thierry Beaudet.
It’s not the first time that the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC) has raised the matter. The country has one of the toughest laws in Europe. The use of cannabis is punishable by law, sending the user to prison for a year with a €3,750 fine.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/elsaolofsson/50611456241 / Elsa Olofsson