Luxembourg becomes first European country to give green light to growing and using cannabis

Justice minister says move is aimed at curbing illegal black market for cannabis products

Conrad Duncan
Friday 22 October 2021 19:36
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<p>Luxembourg’s coalition government agreed in 2018 that it would work towards the ‘exemption from punishment’ or legalisation of cannabis </p>

Luxembourg’s coalition government agreed in 2018 that it would work towards the ‘exemption from punishment’ or legalisation of cannabis

Luxembourg has become the first country in Europe to legalise the production and consumption of cannabis after its government announced it would allow adults to grow up to four cannabis plants at home.

The proposals come as part of a package of measures to tackle drug crime in the country and will allow cannabis seeds to be sold in shops, imported or bought online.

There will still be a legal prohibition on the consumption and transport of the drug in public, while trade of cannabis products other than seeds will remain banned.

However, under the new plans, anyone caught with a small amount of cannabis (less than three grams) will no longer face a criminal offence and will receive a fine between €25 (£21) to €500 (£423), down from around €2,500 (£2,115) previously.

Luxembourg’s coalition-government had previously agreed in 2018 to work towards “the exemption from punishment or even legalisation” of cannabis that is produced in the state territory.

On Friday, justice minister Sam Tanson said that the move was aimed at curbing the illegal market for cannabis products in the country by allowing low levels of personal consumption at home.

“The idea is that a consumer is not in an illegal situation if he consumes cannabis and that we don’t support the whole illegal chain from production to transportation to selling where there is a lot of misery attached,” Ms Tanson said, as reported by The Guardian.

“We want to do everything we can to get more and more away from the illegal black market.”

Meanwhile, the country’s Greens, who are coalition partners in government with the Democratic Party and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party, said that the move represented “a fundamental reorientation of Luxembourg's drug policy”.

In a statement published on Friday, the party said that the country’s “war on cannabis” had failed.

“The announcements of the minister of justice, Sam Tanson, represent a fundamental reorientation of Luxembourg's drug policy,” they said.

“At last, the use of cannabis is being regulated and a legal alternative to the black market is being created.”

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