Luxembourg Planning to Legalize Cannabis
Although marijuana reform made it across the Atlantic in recent months, one Luxembourg plans to ride the green wave all the way through, according to The Guardian.
A government coalition formed by three parties – the Liberals, Social Democrats and Greens – decided to start the process of fully legalizing marijuana in Luxembourg, making it the first European country to do so.
Like Uruguay, Canada and eleven U.S. states, there are some fine details and challenges to expect. Luxembourg’s prohibition laws differ from its counterparts in the western hemisphere, as will the rules following legalization.
Luxembourg’s legalization schedule has a similar timeframe to Canada’s, with the expectation of having marijuana available for sale within two years.
Luxembourg already has a solid foundation for a legal framework. Marijuana has been legal for medical use following a pilot project that began in 2017.
Furthermore, the drug was decriminalized in 2001.
Luxembourg’s devotion to its upcoming reforms does not stop on the national level. The country wants its European neighbours to consider changes to prohibition as well.
Etienne Schneider, an economist and member of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers Party, said to Politico that:
“This drug policy we had over the last 50 years did not work. Forbidding everything made it just more interesting to young people … I’m hoping all of us will get a more open-minded attitude toward drugs.”
Schneider is correct in his assertion that drug policies have failed. His claim about youth may be true, but not established.
So far, the government offers an insight into some of its proposed laws – although any of these could change in the future.
Individuals 18 years or older can legally purchase and possess up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana. Luxembourg will form a “cannabis agency” to handle growth, processing and distribution.
They do not provide information on how to buy the product, such as dispensaries, online, or both.
Luxembourg also is yet write any legislation on which cannabis products to sell or exactly how to tax them. However, The Guardian explains that they should have a first draft this year.
One interesting thing that stands out about Luxembourg is its rather relaxed policy toward underage cannabis use.
Being of age is critical to businesses who serve controlled substances, like alcohol, tobacco and marijuana in Canada and the U.S. Penalties can range from fines to jail time if someone is caught supplying these products to minors.
But in Luxembourg, youth have it easy. In fact, The Guardian explains:
“Minors aged between 12 and 17 would not be criminalised for possessing five grams or less of the drug…”
Foreign visitors might be out of luck, as Schneider stated that sales to outsiders would be illegal. Their aim is to avoid “drug tourism,” unlike Canada and the U.S., who see it as an advantage.
Home growing will likely also be banned under the new laws.
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Luxembourg’s marijuana legalization is the most monumental news since cannabis reform first began in Europe.
Although Luxembourg has a medical cannabis framework set up, demand and compliance will change once recreational marijuana reaches the market.
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