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The legalisation of Cannabis in Germany

The legalisation of Cannabis in Germany

September 01, 2023

For years, the legalization of cannabis has been a highly debated issue in Germany. While some have advocated for legalizing the drug for medical and recreational use, others have argued against it citing potential health and societal risks. However, in early 2020, Germany took the first step towards legalization by passing a new law allowing the sale of medical cannabis for use in treating chronic pain and other serious health conditions. This article will discuss what this law means for the country and what the future may hold for cannabis legalization in Germany.

The New Medical Cannabis Law

In January 2020, Germany passed a new law allowing the sale of medical cannabis for use in treating chronic pain and other serious health conditions. This law allows doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients suffering from conditions such as multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and chemotherapy side effects. Up until then, the only way to legally obtain cannabis was through an expensive application process that could take months to complete. The new law makes the process much easier for patients and will also allow for domestic cultivation of cannabis - a change from the previous system which required imports from the Netherlands and Canada.

This new law is a significant step towards legalization, as it allows for the sale of cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, it is important to note that recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in Germany. Possession of small amounts of marijuana may result in a fine, while possession of larger amounts may lead to imprisonment.

Future of Cannabis Legalization in Germany

Although Germany has taken a positive step forward towards legalization with the new medical cannabis law, recreational use still faces many hurdles. One of the main obstacles is the conservative government's opposition to legalization. Many politicians have expressed concerns about the health risks associated with cannabis use and the potential increase in crime. Additionally, legalization at the federal level is unlikely since the country's federal system means that each individual state has its own laws regarding drug use.

However, some cities in Germany have shown support for legalization by decriminalizing personal use of cannabis. Berlin, for instance, recently announced plans to allow the sale and consumption of cannabis in designated areas. Additionally, other countries in Europe such as the Netherlands and Spain have already taken steps towards recreational legalization, which may increase pressure on Germany to follow suit.


The legalization of cannabis remains an ongoing topic of debate in Germany. While the new medical cannabis law is a positive step forward, recreational use faces many hurdles before it is fully legal. However, it is important to note that there is growing public support for legalization, and with other countries in Europe moving forward, Germany may not be far behind. As Germany continues to evolve and adapt to new social norms and public opinion, any developments surrounding cannabis legalization will be closely monitored by both advocates and opponents.