Germany announces plan to legalise cannabis for recreational use

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Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that, under a plan agreed today, possession of up to 1oz of cannabis will become legal.

Adults will also be allowed to buy cannabis from licenced premises, with Mr Lauterbach saying the market will be tightly regulated.

Lauterbach did not give a timeline for the plan, which would make Germany the second European Union country to legalise cannabis after Malta.

Many European countries, including Germany, have already legalised cannabis for limited medicinal purposes. Others have decriminalised its general use, while stopping short of making it legal.

Cannabis is still technically illegal in the Netherlands, which is famous for its cannabis cafes. However there is a tolerance for the drug when it is sold in the coffee shops.

Any cannabis sold in Germany would have to be grown in Germany, the leaked plans said, with imports to be banned.

According to the paper, private self-cultivation would be permitted to a limited extent. Ongoing investigations and

criminal proceedings connected to cases no longer illegal would be terminated.

The government also plans to introduce a special consumption tax, as well as developing cannabis-related education and prevention work.

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