By / October 28, 2021

Luxembourg Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, a First in Europe

Luxembourg will become the first country in Europe to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis. The government of liberal Xavier Bettel announced on Friday 22 October that it would allow the cultivation of cannabis at home and its consumption in the private sphere.

Luxembourg will maintain the ban on consuming cannabis in public but will introduce a “lighter criminal procedure”, limited to a fine of €145 if the consumption or purchase offenses do not exceed three grams.

This is happening at a time when one of Luxembourg’s neighbors is also radically changing its laws. To find out who, download our free cannabis news app.

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Each household will be allowed to grow four cannabis plants at home. Trade in seeds will also be allowed with no limits on the quantity or levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Consumers will be able to import or buy seeds in shops or online.

Luxembourg will maintain the ban on consuming cannabis in public, but will introduce a “lighter criminal procedure”, limited to a fine of €145 if the consumption or purchase offenses do not exceed three grams.

Fighting Fire with Fire

This measure is part of a legislative package to combat drug-related crime. Justice Minister Sam Tanson explained that this is a “first step” in the government’s response to the “drug problem”.

“Cannabis is the most widely used drug and accounts for a large proportion of illegal trafficking. The idea is that a consumer is not in an illegal situation if they use cannabis and that we don’t support the whole illegal chain, from production to sale to transport, where there is a lot of suffering.”

First Country in Europe to Legalize Cannabis

When elected in 2018, the coalition government had promised decriminalization or even legalization of recreational cannabis through domestic production. But the Luxembourg government has scaled back its ambitions in order to protect its relations with neighboring countries, especially France, which feared the emergence of a trafficking center on its borders. The legislative package of measures will be examined by the parliament early next year and could be voted on by the end of 2022

Luxembourg joins Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, and eleven US states that have already decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis and no longer limit its use to strictly medical purposes. In the Netherlands, possession, and trade of cannabis are illegal, although a policy of tolerance is applied.

(Featured image by Aphiwat chuangchoem via Pexels)

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