Legalization of cannabis: Germany takes the plunge, an experiment in two French municipalities?

Recreational cannabis became legal in Germany this Monday, April 1, 2024.

Legalization of cannabis: Germany takes the plunge, an experiment in two French municipalities?

Recreational cannabis became legal in Germany this Monday, April 1, 2024. An approach that is attracting two French cities with a view to potential experimentation.

This Monday, April 1, 2024, Germany became the third country in the European Union after Malta in 2021 and Luxembourg in 2023 to authorize the consumption of cannabis for recreational use. Possession of 25 grams of dried cannabis is now permitted in public places, in the same way as cultivation at home, up to 50 grams and three plants per adult. A practice completely banned in France, however, certain municipalities wish to become areas of experimentation in this area.

This German approach to the subject of cannabis, diametrically opposed to that of France, is notably shared by the environmentalist mayor of Strasbourg, Jeanne Barseghian, who calls for the establishment of a local "experiment". It particularly highlights the “common living area” of its territory, between French and Germans and “permanent flows” between the two countries via the municipality of Strasbourg. For example, the daily journeys of cross-border workers.

“The fact that a European country like Germany, committed to public order and public health, decides to change its legislation clearly shows that a purely repressive policy did not seem satisfactory or effective. In my opinion , it must provide food for thought" she explains in the columns of 20 Minutes. She envisages an extremely supervised experiment and a framework "much less permissive than what we can observe in the Netherlands. There will be no coffee shop" she tempers.

The mayor of Strasbourg is not the only one to defend this vision of cannabis consumption. In Bègles (Gironde), the environmentalist mayor Clément Rossignol-Puech "has been working for a year to define the contours of a local experiment in supervised legislation". It could make it possible to “reduce the risks associated with consumption by offering known products and less harmful consumption methods, increase prevention among the entire population, fight against trafficking and associated violence” he confides to 20 Minutes. He notably sent a letter to this effect to Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of 2023 based on a report from the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese).

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