Luxembourg has become the first European country to legalize cannabis production and consumption, according to local media sources. The country’s Health Minister announced the move in a statement on Thursday, October 21. Within two years, citizens over the age of legal adulthood will be able to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use, however, the state is likely to oversee its production and distribution through a cannabis agency.
Adults will be able to grow up to four cannabis plants in their homes or gardens in Luxembourg. The Luxembourg Health Minister stated that the legislation will be passed later this year.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel indicated in November 2018 that the coalition’s three main parties – the Democratic Party, the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party, and the Greens – would legalize cannabis for recreational use by enacting a fully regulated adult-use bill by 2022 or 2023.
Luxembourg’s government declared that the country was ready to implement these major changes in its approach to cannabis cultivation and recreational usage.
Cannabis has been permitted for medicinal use in various European countries since June 2018, but the new law will allow residents to possess 30 grams of cannabis for recreational use, similar to what is allowed in Canada.
Citizens would now be able to buy the plant’s seeds in local stores or import them from overseas without fearing criminal prosecution. Cannabis can also be purchased online by those who are legally eligible. However, in order to prevent illegal smuggling, the regulation apparently prohibits tourists and international travelers from possessing the medication.
Apart from Luxembourg, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes in 1999, thanks to Health Minister Els Borst’s tireless efforts. In 1976, the government legalized recreational cannabis usage in limited amounts at well-known coffee cafes, subject to licensing rules.
In 2015, the Maltese government decriminalized recreational cannabis usage, and in 2018, Malta’s Drug Dependence Act was changed to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis as a medication to their patients. According to reports, the health practitioners, on the other hand, required a license to use cannabis for medical purposes.