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Luxembourg to Become First EU Country to Legalize Cannabis Cultivation and Consumption

Luxembourg is also called Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The country, which borders France, Belgium, Germany, and France, boasts a population of 62,000. It could become one of 27 EU member countries to allow cannabis cultivation.

On October 22, the Luxembourg government declared that they would change their laws regarding cannabis. The intention is to legalize cultivation and personal consumption. According to Sam Tanson, Minister of Justice, the changes were included in a defense measure that includes 27 measures targeting drug-related crimes.

“We thought we had to act, we have an issue with drugs and cannabis is the drug that is most used and is a large part of the illegal market,” Tamson said at a press conference. “We want to start by allowing people to grow it 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. We want to do everything we can to get more and more away from the illegal black market.”

An adult over the age of 18 would have permission to grow up to 4 cannabis plants in their home. These plants can be located indoors as well as outdoors on any property, including balconies, terraces, and gardens. This is according to The GuardianCannabis seeds will also soon be legal for purchase. You could eventually purchase cannabis seeds online, as well as in retail shops. The punishment for possessing cannabis was also modified by Luxembourg officials.

Now, possession or consumption of less than three grams of cannabis constitutes a misdemeanor rather than a criminal offence. Prior to these new changes, a possession fine ranged from €251 to €2,500. “Above three grams, nothing changes, you will be considered a dealer,” Tanson said at the press conference. “Nothing changes for car drivers either: there is still zero tolerance.”

The reasoning behind Luxembourg officials’ decision to embrace cannabis is to curb the growth of illegal sales on the black market. However, this is only the beginning of the country’s path toward legalization. Tanson described the October 22 announcement as “a first step in our project to legalize recreational cannabis.” No announcement was made in regards to an official launch date, since this legislation is not yet set in stone. The legislation must be approved by the Chamber of Deputies. Translated text taken from Luxemburger Wort, a local Luxembourg newspaper, Tanson expects “further measures to be taken by the end of the term, in 2023.”

One of Luxembourg’s three political parties, The Greens, posted a press release expressing the party’s approval of cannabis legislation. “The war on cannabis has failed. The announcements by Justice Minister Sam Tanson represent a fundamental reorientation of Luxembourg’s drug policy,” the press release states. “Finally, the use of cannabis is being regulated and a legal alternative to the black market is being created. This sets the stage for comprehensive regulations of cannabis cultivation and distribution. We expressly welcome the fact that the government will continue to push ahead with the coalition agreement project.”

Luxembourg had previously been committed to the legalization of cannabis in the past. In August 2019, Luxembourg announced that it would be the first EU nation to allow cannabis consumption and production. Etienne Schneider, the former Luxembourg Health Minister, spoke out about the failings of prohibition and called on other EU nations to relax their drug laws regarding cannabis. Some reports shared that Luxembourg was using Canada’s approach to legalization. Schneider, along with other officials, visited a Canopy Growth Corporation facility at Smith Falls Canada in 2018, back in 2018.

Luxembourg previously legalized medical cannabis back in 2017. It launched its program in 2018 and was approved by the Luxembourg government in 2017. It could join Uruguay and Canada in legalizing recreational marijuana in 2013.