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Luxembourg will be the first country in Europe to fully legalize cannabis

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Luxembourg will allow the use of cannabis for all purposes, thus becoming the first country in the European Union to fully legalize cannabis. The Luxembourg Minister of Health, Etienne Schneider, announced that, within two years, citizens over the age of 18 will be able to buy cannabis for recreational purposes as well.

The authorities and government of Luxembourg are currently drafting legislation that will completely legalize the use of cannabis, including for recreational purposes, and which is expected to be released later this year. The legislation will provide for the types of cannabis to be supplied, as well as the tax burden associated with new products. Additionally, a newly created regulatory body will have the function of controlling and supervising production and distribution.

Citizens who are not resident in Luxembourg will not be able to acquire cannabis, and a ban on self-cultivation and severe penalties for those who violate these laws are also expected. Residents under the age of 18 but over the age of 12 will not be criminalized for having a dose lower than 5 grams, but will be subject to hefty fines.

Em interview with the Luxembourg newspaper “Politico”, Etienne Schneider, Minister of Health, encouraged the other EU member states to follow the lead that Luxembourg now leads, citing the examples and advances of Canada, Uruguay and some US states.

“The drug laws we've enforced for 50 years haven't worked,” Schneider said. “The ban made products more attractive to young people. I hope that all of us [in the EU] will have a more open attitude towards drugs.”

Cannabis for medical purposes had already been legalized in Luxembourg and recreational use partially decriminalized for small amounts, although the cultivation, sale and production of the plant remains a criminal offense punishable by law.

The Luxembourg Government's aim is to follow Canada's lead and allow residents to have up to 30 grams. Drug education programs, as well as addiction recovery treatments, may be financed with funds raised through taxation of recreational cannabis.

Cannabis decriminalization, albeit mildly, has taken place in less than a dozen EU states, but it remains banned internationally, and even in liberal countries such as Spain and Portugal, there are penalties for cannabis possession.

It should be noted that Luxembourg's counter-current movement within the EU is not in line with the plans of neighboring Member States, namely Germany, which, in addition to not having the desire to establish a recreational cannabis market, faces serious difficulties in national regulation for the medical cannabis.

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