Starting this Monday, April 1, Germany authorizes the recreational use of cannabisdespite the tenacious opposition of conservatives and medical associations that fear negative consequences for youth.

The law stipulates that adults over 18 years old may carry 25 grams of marijuana on public roads, grow up to 50 grams and have three plants per adult at home.

In the early hours of Monday, some 1,500 people celebrated the change between wisps of smoke in front of the emblematic Brandenburg Gate, in the heart of Berlin, as seen by an AFP journalist.

In the middle of the crowd, Niyazi, 25, assured that with legalization there is “a little more freedom.”

It is “the end of the criminalization of several million people in Germany,” said Torsten Dietrich, an activist of the measure for several decades.

This reform places Germany among the most permissive countries with cannabis in Europe, along with Malta and Luxembourg, which legalized recreational consumption in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

The Netherlands, known for years for its liberal drug policy, has adopted a stricter strategy to reduce cannabis-focused tourism.

Although the law goes into effect this Monday, Consumers will have to wait three months to legally purchase marijuana from “cannabis social clubs.”

Before July, the purchase of cannabis will remain illegal, Georg Wurth, director of the German Cannabis Association, explained to AFP.

According to the law, cannabis social clubs may have a maximum of 500 members and distribute 50 grams of cannabis per member per month.


The government of Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz, allied with liberals and environmentalists, argues that the Legalization will help fight drug trafficking more effectively.

Cannabis “leaves the taboo zone,” said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who is a doctor, on the X network on Monday. “It is better for real help for drug addicts, for prevention in young people and for fight against the black market,” he added.

The government has promised a campaign on the risks of consumption and emphasizes that cannabis remains prohibited for those under 18 years of age and that its consumption is not authorized within 100 meters of schools, daycare centers and children’s playgrounds.

But health organizations warned that legalization could lead to an increase in consumption among young people.

In those under 25 years of age, cannabis can affect the development of the central nervous system, which implies a greater risk of psychiatric problems, such as schizophrenia, according to experts.

“From our point of view, the law, as it is written, is a disaster”said Katja Seidel, a therapist at a Berlin center for treating cannabis addiction in young people.


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