Luxembourg is set to make history by becoming the first European country to end the prohibition of cannabis.
The plan to legalise cannabis for recreational use was confirmed by Luxembourg’s Health Minister, Etienne Schneider.
The new law, which would permit residents over the age of 18 to legally purchase cannabis, is expected to come into effect within two years.
Luxembourg’s Government will regulate production and distribution of the drug via a “cannabis agency,” similar to how cannabis is dealt with in Uruguay.
Still in draft stages, further details of the new legislation outlining what strains, forms (edibles, flower, oil, etc.), and the level of tax to be imposed, are expected to be announced later this year.
Cannabis will be ‘decriminalised’ for youths aged between 12-17. While they will not face criminal prosecution for possession of 5 grams or less, those who go over this limit could face harsh penalties.
Cannabis campaigners are already voicing their concerns that the right to grow cannabis at home will not be permitted under the new law.
Luxembourg has already decriminalised possession of cannabis, and patients have had legal access to medical cannabis since 2017.
The move to legalise cannabis appears to have been influenced by Canada’s legalisation efforts over the past year.
As in Canada, residents will legally be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, and the money raised via taxation of cannabis products will fund programmes designed to educate the public about cannabis, as well as addiction treatment facilities.
Consumers will be able to order cannabis products from websites run by local provinces as well as from regulated private retailers. Buyers can even have cannabis delivered to their homes via post, as Schneider is well aware that current consumers are already purchasing their cannabis via the ‘Dark Web.’
It is still unclear whether public consumption of cannabis will be tolerated under the new law, but officials are expected to recommend the creation of specific public areas for consumption to help prevent discrimination against people of limited means.