German Cabinet set to approve plans to liberalise cannabis rules

Germany is set to approve a plan to liberalise the country’s rules on cannabis, which could see adults allowed to possess up to 25 grams of the drug and grow a maximum of three plants for personal use.

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Cabinet approval, expected on Wednesday, has been billed as the first step in a two-part plan and will still need to be ratified by Parliament.

If finalised, it would also allow the drug to be cultivated and sold by “cannabis clubs” to its members for recreational purposes.

The proposed plan is a stride forward for a prominent reform project of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s socially liberal coalition, though significantly short of the government’s original ambitions.

Officials hope legalisation will help push back the black market, protect consumers against contaminated products, and reduce drug-related crime.

But the plan faces opposition from several quarters.

The centre-right opposition believes the government is pressing ahead with legalising a risky drug despite European legal obstacles and expert opinion.

And an organisation representing German judges says the proposed law is likely to increase rather than decrease the burden on the judicial system.

The government said it plans to follow the new legislation with a second step which would see five-year tests of regulated commercial supply chains in select regions.

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